Being sad is a normal response to a loss or bad experience. But life goes on and you get over it in time. A persistent state of grief that has nothing to do with experiences understandable to an outsider is depression. Called melancholy a century ago, it was thought to reflect internal conflicts. Today we accept internal and external reasons, interactions between them, and know many details what goes wrong in the brain. But there is no definitive explanation, and probably never will be. Depression is serious and can lead to suicide. Along its rational perception, antidepressants were developed. For a long time depression was thought not to exist in children.

A special type of depression occurs relatively frequently around birth – a serious danger for mother and child. But there is treatment today, including antidepressants.

The authorities classify mothers before their 18th birthday as “children” and demand “pediatric” birth depression studies from drug developers. Getting pregnant under 18 is difficult enough already without depression. Women under 18 are physically mature to give birth, but their overall position is precarious. The “pediatric” studies in young mothers under 18 are a particularly disgusting outgrowth of the children-are-not-small-adults mantra.

You don’t believe? Google EMEA-002051-PIP02-16. See the European Union (EU) “pediatric investigation plan” (PIP) that demands “pediatric” studies in allopregnanolone/bexanolone (it’s the same drug) for “postpubertal girls” before their 18th birthday. The drug is approved in birth depression in adults. The EU is far away? Google NCT03665038, a study in female 15-17-year-old adolescents with postpartum depression, recently completed in the US.

The struggle for a self-determined life of women is going on in civilized countries for many years and will continue. It is particularly disgusting that young mothers in a difficult personal situation are abused for pseudo-scientific studies which will reveal nothing new. The 18th birthday does not correspond to any physical change. Drugs that works in 18-year-olds work the same in 17 or 19-year-olds.

Brittney Spears, a modern pop star, was put under the conservatorship of her father when she suffered a psychological breakdown. It took long court battles and the free Brittney movement until she was finally allowed to take care again of her own life and money. The young mothers that were enlisted in the above mentioned pseudo-scientific study are not famous pop stars, and their abuse goes unnoticed. Modern times.

I am a medical doctor and worked as global head pediatrics of two very large companies. Now I am independent.

Where drug regulatory agencies have their say, they enforce pointless “pediatric” studies, even in birth depression. It will not be easy to stop them, but this blog series and the books I am publishing are a beginning.