Do Depression and Anti-Depressants Cause Autism?
Recently, there have been quite a few studies examining the link between Anti-Depressants (mostly SSRIs) and birth defects and abnormalities (particularly autism).
And pretty much all of the studies being published show some sort of correlation between SSRIs and Autism, if not other birth abnormalities. So it’s certainly an issue that needs more studies and more research.
However, I really like this recent article that was published on the subject:
Depression May Have As Much of a Link to Autism as the Drugs
The point of this article is first of all that this area of research definitely needs more studies still.
But the secondary point is that we should also be looking to a degree at the link between the prenatal environment and birth abnormalities.
In particular, there’s good reason to believe that prenatal conditions like depression are likely driven by or at least accompanied by inflammation in the parent, and such inflammation could quite reasonably be linked to anything from ADHD to Autism.
This article isn’t the first to point this issue out, and the article itself cites other studies that list depression and other environmental factors as potential confounders.
But the article is correct that this is an area that is given less attention than it probably should be. I still wouldn’t want to take any anti-depressants as a mother or father to be, but I’d be at least as worried about any signs of depression.