Antidepressants: Widely Used, But Practically Useless?

 In a span of 20 years, from 1988 – 2008, antidepressant usage has increased 400%.

Times Union – December 1, 2014
By Michael Wayne

I’ve been writing a series of articles on prescription drugs, because the use of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. is at epidemic proportions, and it’s important for everyone to understand that, and to know that taking medications is not a path towards getting you healthy but instead puts you on the slippery slope to more serious illness.

In my first article in this series, Drugged Out Nation, I mentioned how antidepressants are the third most popular class of drugs used, with over 270 million prescriptions a year written, equating to close to $10 billion in sales.

Here are some sobering statistics about antidepressant usage in the U.S.:

    • Eleven percent of Americans aged 12 years and over take antidepressant medication.
    • More than 60% of Americans taking antidepressant medication have taken it for 2 years or longer, with 14% having taken the medication for 10 years or more.
    • The U.S, with five percent of the world’s population, consumes 65 percent of the world’s psychotropic drugs, tranquilizers, and mood enhancers.
    • The World Health Organization predicts that by 2030, depression will be the number one health issue worldwide.
    • Less than one-third of Americans taking one antidepressant medication and less than one-half of those taking multiple antidepressants have seen a mental health professional in the past year.
    • Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005–2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18–44 years. From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.

Imagine that!: In a span of 20 years, from 1988 – 2008, antidepressant usage has increased 400%….

There are a number of factors that explain the increasing use of antidepressants. One is that there has been broad and growing acceptance of antidepressant medicine in the U.S.  The other is that over the last ten years, several new antidepressants have come on the market, and they’re big money makers.

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