In 2010 more than 20% Americans have taken medication for mental conditions like anxiety or depression, according to Medco Health Solutions. The use of drugs for psychiatric and behavioral disorders rose 22% from 2001.
The number of women aged 20-44 who are taking medicines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has shot up sharply from 2001 to 2010. ADHD prescriptions for older women, which was previously thought to be male predominant disorder, has gone up by 2.5% from 2001-10.
Women are twice as likely as men to use anxiety treatments. 11% of women between 45-65 years of age are on an anxiety medication. Women are also more likely than men to take antipsychotic drugs for treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The reason for this rise remains unclear. Experts do not know whether more people, especially women, are actually developing psychological disorders that require treatment; or if they are more willing to seek out help and clinicians these days are better at diagnosing these conditions than they once were.
The only good news is that there has been decline in prescriptions for psychiatric and behavioral drugs for children. Less than 1% children use these medicines.