Researchers found that more than 25% of Americans who currently take
antidepressant medicines haven't actually been diagnosed with the conditions
like depression and anxiety disorders that require them to take these
medicines. The sale of antidepressants has gone up by 3% this year. This means
that several patients are being exposed to the possible side effects of
antidepressants like nervousness, headache, dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness and
erectile dysfunction. Besides the side effect these medicines come with a price
tag, of about 100 dollars for a month's supply.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 15 million people
in the US suffer from major depression and 40 million have anxiety disorders. The
survey did not include all mental illnesses that might require doctors to
prescribe an antidepressant.
A psychologist and currently a medical student at the University of Manitoba
in Canada, Jina Pagura said, "We cannot be sure that the risks and side
effects of antidepressants are worth the benefit of taking them for people who
do not meet criteria for major depression. Although an antidepressant might
help with these issues, the problems may also go away on their own with time,
or might be more amenable to counseling or psychotherapy." Prescription of
antidepressants has been an ongoing issue since a long time, with some doctors
arguing that they are not always helpful, while some believing that they are
absolutely essential in treating depression.