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Shock Over Drugs Offer

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Shock Over Drugs Offer
Sky News
November 08, 2006

A mother has spoken of her shock after a doctor suggested her four-year-old daughter needed anti-depressants.

The GP suggested the drugs could be used to treat her anxiety at not going to the same primary school as her friends.

Mollie Murphy was taken to see her doctor after she began wetting the bed and vomiting because she was so distraught at missing her friends from nursery school.

Her mother, Victoria Anderson, 26, of Sunderland, said: "I thought how can a little girl suffer from that?

"It's an adult's problem and Mollie's only four. But he told me it does happen."

Her GP, Kevin Weaver, wrote a letter to Sunderland education chiefs asking them to allow Mollie to switch to East Herrington Primary School.

He defended his suggestion that anti-depressants may also help, telling the Daily Mail: "It would be highly unusual, I agree, but not unheard of.

"We try a variety of psychological therapies first but won't rule out anti-depressants, even in a child of four years. We get these type of cases every once in a while."

Sunderland City Council has still refused to find Mollie a place at the school, having twice turned down appeals.

Her parents may now remove her from Farringdon Primary School and wait for next year's intake.

The council said her parents missed their chance to apply for a place at East Herrington, but said they could still appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The Association for Family Therapy said it had "serous concerns" about a four-year-old being prescribed anti-depressants.

Chairman Barbara Warner said: "Research clearly tells us that supporting the family as a whole and helping the child can be far more effective and doesn't have the dangers of side-effects or the child being seen as the focus of a problem."

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