25% Americans Take Antidepressants

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on Feb 9 2011 5:06 PM

 25% Americans Take Antidepressants
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.