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More than 1 in 10 in U.S. take antidepressants
October 19th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

More than 1 in 10 in U.S. take antidepressants

Eleven percent of Americans over age 12 take antidepressants according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control.  The study, compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, looked at data from 2005 to 2008.  Among the other key findings:

  • Women are two-and-a-half times more likely to take antidepressants than men.
  • People over 40 are more likely to take antidepressants than younger people.
  • Non-Hispanic whites are more likely to take antidepressants than minorities.

But it was another finding that surprised lead study author, Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control.  Only one-third of people with severe depression take antidepressants.  "That means many people with severe depression are not getting treated," says Pratt.

Still the rate of antidepressant use has skyrocketed nearly 400% in the United States since the late 1980s when the first SSRI's went on the market.  "There is lots of evidence that the rates of depression have doubled from the late 1990s to the late 2000s," says Dr. Charles Raison, CNNHealth.com's mental health expert and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona School of Medicine.  Raison says that while the precise reasons for the uptick in depression are unclear,  there is evidence to suggest poor diets and lack of aerobic exercise may play a pivotal role.  "We know obesity is a risk factor for depression," says Raison.  He also points to studies that suggest eating processed food and social isolation can lead to depression.

Experts say this study also shows more people are taking their mental health more seriously and that the stigma surrounding treating diseases like depression is going away.  "If life is like walking on a tightrope, antidepressants are like a net," he says.  "They really work when you are taking them."


soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. hical

    no coping skills. parents were told not to tell their kids no. then reality hits. lack of a good foundation and trust in the Lord.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chantal

      I've been struggling with depression since puberty and am offended by your comment. I'd say that my parents were better than average. They gave me boundaries, responsibilities, and enrichment. My teachers considered me a star student. It isn't my fault or my parents' fault that I have a disorder that makes it hard for me to understand non-verbal communication and thus have problems maintaining a social life. It isn't my fault or my parents' fault that I'm so sensitive to stress that I got shingles when I was 12. It isn't my fault or my parents fault that I lost my father to cancer when I was 14. I try so hard every day to improve myself and advance in life. I keep a journal, I volunteer at an animal shelter, I learn new things every day, and I try as hard as I can to stay positive. It's okay for you to not be able to relate to me, but for you to assume what you assumed about people with depression is downright insulting. Please educate yourself on certain topics before leaving such cruel and insensitive comments about them.

      October 19, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • TwintBotXenu

      Trust in the Lord? In other words, ignore it and think happy thoughts. Only someone who hasn't sufferred chronic depression and anxiety can make such a stupid comment. And only a religionist would fail to see that religion is quite often at the root of many depressive and anxious conditions. Reality defeats delusion, not more delusion. Thoughts begat chemical imbalance which begats more negative thoughts. It's a horrible cycle within which to be trapped. Hope you never get there. Hope you never reach the point where fear of death becomes the fear of NOT dying.

      October 19, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • GRofPA

      You don't have to worry about depression – it is an illness of the brain.

      October 19, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • At @Hical

      Wow, does it hurt carrying around that much ignorance all of the time? Must be exhausting.

      October 19, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      My parents raised me like their parents raised them. I had chores, plenty of responsibilities, strict curfew, and had to keep up with straight A's. I didn't get anything without working for it. When I moved away from home to college, I broke up with my high school sweetheart of two years, my grandfather died, and I broke my leg all within a short period of time. I spiraled into severe depression. It was tough because so many people around me were convinced that depression was just weakness, but I knew it had nothing to do with weakness.
      It was like struggling to climb up a cliff, but everytime you would get near the top the cliffside would crumble and you were back on the bottom.
      I struggled for a month before realizing that I just couldn't do it on my own, not without severe consequences. My grades were slipping, I was getting paranoid, I couldn't sleep at all. I even got gastritis from the stress of trying to cope with everything. I finally told my doctor and after just 2 weeks on medications, things started to get better.

      I'm currently a medical student doing my psychiatry rotation, and I see people with severe or chronic depression every day. I have heard so many times that their spouse/family/friends don't believe in their depression, that they feel they are alone because no one understands. I think it's really unfortunate that so many people take this approach to any kind of mental illness, especially depression which is so prevalent.

      Depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain, this has been PROVEN. It's also why the medications, which work to balance out those chemicals, work so well.

      October 19, 2011 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • Rodeoguy

      Chantel,
      1. Shingles aka(Herpes zoster) is a viral disease caused by the dorment varicella zoster virus aka(chicken pox), its not caused by stress. You need a new doctor.
      2. Just because your parents are better then the average parent dosn't mean they were good parents. It sounds like nothing is your fault. You need to grow up, take responsibility for yourself, stop being offended at what other people say, others have the right to their opinion even if its wrong or doesn't agree with yours.

      October 20, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      @Rodeoguy, Jeez she didn't say NOTHING was her fault, she just listed certain situations that were (truly) out of her hands. Good job being a troll and insulting somebody for no apparent reason.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Peter Raabe

      What about the British medical research which has shown that the leading brands of anti-depressants are no more effective than placebos?

      Why the assumption that if a depressed person is not on medication "they're nor receiving treatment"? Is that the only treatment available? Research has shown that more than 50% of depressed people recover without meds!!

      January 5, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  2. Jennifer

    Are these patients being given information on the long-term side-effects of SSRIs or are they just being told that these drugs are a wonderful panacea for all their ills? These are seriously nasty pills if you take them too long, from brain zaps to suicidality and a lot of other horror stories in between, these pills aren't what they're cracked up to be.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TwintBotXenu

      Lexapro has helped me tremendously. But, no doubt, it isn't even remotely perfect. The initial side effects of worsened depression were horrible. Six in one, half dozen another... I can't say which way to go, but had I known even reducing the dosage of Lexapro was such a challenge, I would've tried other options first. Zoloft was terribe in that it didn't work at all, but still had many nasty side effects (ruined my marriage for one). Exercise and diet only works when it is implemented when the condition(s) are at their minimal level, and only after many weeks of regular ritual. It's initiating the process that's difficult since the anxiety and depression will actually cause one to avoid engaging such a possitive lifestyle in the first place.

      October 19, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • At @Twin

      I was very, very anti-meds for a long time....years. I thought that I could pick myself up by my boot straps and will my depression away. When that didn't happen (after years of excellent therapy) I gave in and tried meds. Anti-depressants, Lexapro in particular, were a nightmare. They say that they cause suicidal ideations in teens, well I'm over 40 and came very close to committing suicide. I had in my hands the pills, the glass of water, and the suicide note. Thankfully, I called my therapist first.

      I finally went to see a psychiatrist who was very knowledgeable about meds. He agreed that Ad's were not for me and said that more adults have that reaction than they tell you about. He tried me on Lamictil which is an anti-epilepsy medication. My whole world changed. The depression lessened considerably, but I can still feel. I am not numb. It is the tool I needed to be able to work through the underlying causes of the depression. I will not be on it forever, but for now it is helping me get through my daily life so that I may do the work that I need to do to resolve some long term issues.

      Ask your doctor about some of the anti-epilepsy meds. Helping with depression is one of the benefits of them. It's like when they found out about Viagra's nice little side effect when they were treating male heart patients. Just a thought if Lexapro is not giving you everything that you need.

      October 19, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • Consensus

      What evidence do you have that antidepressants' long-term effects are so devastating? I've been taking Zoloft for over 12 years. The side effects are something of an inconvenience, but hardly unmanageable. What "long-term effects" can you cite with sources?

      October 19, 2011 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • Talon Grey

      correct, pharmaceutical companies are the ones to blame. These drugs are incredibly dangerous. Please keep your eyes wide open. see- http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117313948379987.html

      May 22, 2012 at 05:06 | Report abuse |
  3. Libido

    "They really work when you are taking them." By and large, that's bull (believe me, I know!). Most SSRIs are only slightly better than placebo, and have substantial side effects including loss of libido and weight gain. Many of them cause serious problems with withdrawal. There are no short cuts. If the two-fold increase in depression is caused by poor diet, lack of exercise and social isolation, taking a pill won't fix those things. Try a proper diet and moderate exercise with friends for starters.

    October 19, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica

      Not all depression is caused by lack of exercise, diet, or social interaction. You're making a hasty generalization in a complicated matter.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Serious Person

      To be fair, the good diet and exercise complaint would be hard to prove one way or another as 74.6% of Americans are overweight or obese (World's Fattest Countries – Forbes.com). Clearly the majority cannot say they've even tried exercise and diet as an alternative to medications so they can't really speak to whether or not it has worked for them. I was on medication for a couple years after the birth of my first child. Today, I do manage my anxiety with diet and exercise but would not hesitate to go back on medication if diet and exercise were no longer enough. I do wish more people would actually try it before they condemned it.

      October 20, 2011 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  4. thizz

    "Non-Hispanic whites" what?

    October 19, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lmew

    I take Zoloft and I love it. It helps me with social anxiety and other things that some people would consider OCD. I feel like I can function when I take Zoloft and that I'm alive, not just going through the motions of life.

    October 19, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anil

      Why does the info provided in your ifaromntion always appear to be a matter of history? You are offering me info about upcoming Firefox 4.0b7, which you note is delayed until December, while I am now running Firefox 4.0b8. Maybe, there is a difference in the tree matrix and I am on a different limb?

      April 9, 2012 at 07:13 | Report abuse |
    • Karan

      Quite a post here Lars. I did like the information on using the Design Binder. It is sthiomeng that I tend to pass over just like the design library. I am going to request that our IT department Whitelist your blog so I can your blog at work. Now time to cut and paste your post of wisdom into my TiddlyWiki for reference. Thanks Lars, JRU_1962

      April 14, 2012 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  6. Jack Be Humble

    The Lord made every person the way he wanted them to be. He made some people with a tendency toward high cholesterol; I do not believe it is a breach of faith to take a statin drug. He made some people with chronic pain; for them to take medication to relieve that pain allows them to function in this life. He made many people with mental health disorders caused by biochemical imbalances in their brains; for those folks, if taking one or more medications allows them to lead a more normal life, then I believe it is God's will that they take them.

    My wife suffers from rapid-cycling bipolar 1. For many years, she lived on the fringe of society, unable to participate fully in it. This was after losing her job and many of her friends. Over the course of 10 years, psychiatrists worked to find the right medicine to treat her; it turned out to be a medication called Clozapine, which is usually prescribed for peeople with a schizophrenic range disorder, but this just shows that there are more commonalities between the bipolar spectrum and the schizophrenic spectrum of diseases than doctors thought ten years ago.

    I hope someday, doctors learn enough about brain biochemistry that they can balance out any such problems while a person is still a child; until then, I believe people should rely on good medical practices to treat their serious mental health disorders.

    October 19, 2011 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      Thank goodness your wife found the right treatment, it really does change your life. I finally found the right treatment when I was nearly 30, and I just wish that we had known about it when I was a teenager. My life would have been *completely* different. What truly breaks my heart are people like my dad who didn't find the right treatment until he was 60. More than 40 years of his adult life were plagued by untreated mental illness... can you imagine? And his mother, my grandmother, NEVER received treatment. She lived a very hard, very unhappy life that undoubtedly would have been better if effective treatments had existed in her day.

      When a person has an obviously physical ailment, no one questions their need for treatment. No one tells someone in the midst of a heart attack, "Oh, suck it up, it's not like you had your arm chopped off or something." But for some reason, too many people still believe that mental illness is imaginary and NOT physical. People who believe this are hopefully fortunate to have never struggled with mental illness themselves, but it does often result in a lack of understanding.

      It's that ignorance that leads me to being fairly open about what I live with and how the right treatment has made my life so much better. I want to encourage others who are "in the closet" to not be afraid, and to make the uninformed understand that yes, these conditions do exist, and yes, effective treatment really does change a life.

      October 20, 2011 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
  7. B Ann

    Depression, fatigue, and anxiety can all be caused by low thyroid levels. Google “anti-depressant side effects." Get your thyroid tested, but more than a TSH. You could have a “normal” TSH thyroid test while hypothyroid. Get more specific tests. Info at tiredthyroid. c o m

    October 19, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Chris Chris

    I have seen Dr after Dr after Dr prescribe these drugs! I have NEVER heard of one Dr doing a liver panel first[Read the insert!}
    The drug can CAUSE anxiety and insomnia and next thing you know you will be on more drugs.
    How many people are getting counseling while on these drugs? So..Big Pharma has you hooked and believe me...just Google side effects of any SSI type medicine. Your brain will fry while the corporation grows and grows and you become weaker and weaker. I am waiting for the next Big Pharma Drug...The Goodbye Pill...for when you no longer can pay for the addiction. Scary? Just do some research Sheeple...before you blindly TRUST a Dr.

    October 19, 2011 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mitch

      You people and your conspiracy claims are ridiculous. You know absolutely nothing about how the pharmaceutical industry works.

      October 19, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse |
  9. Chris Chris

    I agree 100% with Wellness Drives Post! PLEASE! Don't get fooled into these drugs...they were never intended to be used "long term"!

    October 19, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You agree with him because either you are him or you work for the same or similar concerns.

      Get off it. Antidepressants, when appropriately prescribed, can work miracles.

      October 19, 2011 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
  10. noa

    I was diagnosed with cancer last November, this year had major surgery, an intense course of chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. This whole year I've spent primarily swollen, in some level of pain, weekly treatment and/or doctor appointments, hospitalized twice for at least a week each time, several terrifying waits for CT/PET/MRI scan results, hundreds of needle sticks, and other uncomfortable procedures, etc. My doctor recommended an anti-depressant. I haven't started taking one, but I certainly don't disparage any of my fellow cancer sufferers from taking them, The physical side-effects and the mental trauma more than enough beat you into a mental state that undermines your fight for survival. There aren't any 'coping skills' that work in a way that you aren't suffering at length, no healthy eating or exercise plans that cuts through that omnipresent fear, dismay, that you have to deal with get yourself up, moving and fighting as best you can. Depression has dragged people out of treatment, has stopped them from eating, and made it hard to see any hope of making it beyond this experience. I have the same view about pain pills – people who advise against them in all cases are people who have never felt serve pain, and never cared about someone who did. The assumption that everyone is a potential addict or that they are somehow 'weaker' in body or mind for needing the medication is just ignorant. For some there is no need for long-term use, but the stigma created by others stops them from getting medication that could make their pains and deep depression far more manageable. Long-term side effects? Tylenol has long-term side effects. I say let the person in need and their doctor decide what may work for them, and both monitor the process. People impose their ignorance about medications, the inability to distinguish those taking needed medication properly from those who are drug users abusing medication, and the need for folks to play doctor based on snips of stuff they've read rather than actually doing the work to get a medical degree.

    October 19, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Consensus

      Outstanding post, noa. I wish you well in your battle.

      Those who imagine that antidepressants fall into the same category as narcotics and other drugs likely to be abused by those who don't really need them have obviously never been on an antidepressant or they wouldn't make such an assumption. Antidepressants aren't "feel-good" drugs. They aren't going to be "recreational".

      October 19, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    There should be no stigma in taking anti depressants. Unfortunately there is. Still there is some confusion about how they work. It is best not to rely on anti depressants alone. Therapy can help but it needs to be future based as opposed to based on the past. Teach people to look ahead to making their lives better instead of looking back to either blame yourself or others. Looking back is useful when searching for ways to cope with a similar situation in the future. And it can be useful in eliminating guilt and shame, both of which hold people back. Otherwise it is best to plan for the future and find ways to improve.

    Contrary to one person who commented above, practicing being happy can help. But let us not forget that the actions of others do have an impact. If you know someone who is depress don't avoid them as most people do. Try to engage them. Don't blame them. Don't make them feel guilty. Do try to make them laugh or go out for a walk. Everyone has an effect on everyone – depression rarely occurs in a vacuum.

    October 19, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bobby

      Drs need to be educated with knowledge of other types of therapy for depressions besides drug therapy.

      October 19, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
    • Talon Grey

      Taking the drugs and being numbed down isnt the problen, its getting off of them that HURTS, in a most painful way. Do your research folks they are killing us for profit. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117313948379987.html

      May 22, 2012 at 05:18 | Report abuse |
  12. thinker

    (note: I'm not addressing cases of severe clinical depression in this comment)
    I'm no expert, but I believe the reason more people are taking anti-depressants has to do with how health care operatesin this country and in this day and age. Used to be, if you had a problem that was making you blue, you saw a therapist who, through a series of talking sessions, helped you learn to cope or to view things differently. If talking wasn't enough, a prescription might be in order. These days, with insurance companies determining treatment programs by way of reimbursement rates, doctors are not compensated for the time needed to get to the root of a problem and talk it through. They are only paid for enough time to write a prescription. Additionally, the pharmaceutical companies place increasing pressure on doctors to prescribe their meds, and increasingly encourage patients to demand their meds.
    I think this means we have a huge number of people taking meds to feel better without ever addressing the issue that is causing their depression in the first place. A tragedy, to be sure.

    October 19, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not necessarily. Sometimes, there's no particular "problem" to address. Some people simply have a predisposition to being overly sensitive, easily upset, anxious, and so on. There's nothing specific that causes them to feel depressed and anxious-they just are. Medication can and does help to "keep an even keel" on emotions and help such people deal with the everyday stresses and upsets of life. Talk therapy may help, but someone who is under stress and already predisposed to depression can't hear what a therapist is saying-there's too much anxiety in the way. Medication can help "even out" the highs and lows and allow a person to achieve a measure of peace and enjoy life again.

      October 19, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  13. Huh?

    1 in 10 people are on an antidepressant but 30% of severely depressed people aren't. How many depressed people are there out there? This is ridiculous! Nobody understands the side effects of these drugs and still doctors think that half the population should be on them. Craziness.

    October 19, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Huh?

      Correction... 70% of people who are depressed aren't taking antidepressants. Come on docs, use some common sense.

      October 19, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
  14. Allen Cape

    this has probably been sense Obama has been president.

    October 19, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica

      Mine came around the Bush era, thank you very much!

      October 20, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
  15. Samuel

    This is downright scary, and don't expect this to reverse anytime soon. The pharmaceutical industry and its lapdog psychiatry will not stop until everyone is on drugs. And the government does not care that we are unnecessarily drugging our citizens into oblivion because PhRMA is one of the most, if not the most, powerful lobby in Washington D.C. I believe there is a direct correlation between all the bizarre behavior like shootings, stabbings, and beatings and our very high use of SSRI's. Does anyone else notice how this country is losing its f@*&ing mind? The pharmaceutical industry and psychiatry should be criminally prosecuted for deceiving the public and causing massive harm. The elites know the ship is sinking and that is why they are drugging us. These are grave times people.

    October 19, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JorgeM

      Do you have any studies or other evidence to suggest that violent criminals are on SSRIs at the time of their crime?

      October 19, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      It says right on the bottle that side effects include aggression, agitation, and suicidally. If you want a study for this just look at Eli Lilly's clinical trial for Prozac whereby 19% of the people taking it had what is known as "activation" syndrome. Go to SSRI stories if you want individual accounts of what people have done on these drugs. Most of the school shootings here in the US where done by kids taking these drugs. A case in Canada just ruled that a stabbing was the result of a 16 year taking an SSRI. SSRI's are pretty much the most dangerous legal prescription drugs in terms of causing violence. We should be horrified that 11% of our population is on these things. IMO one of the first questions that should be asked by law enforcement when a horrifically violent crime is committed is if the person was on these drugs. http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/#ixzz1AN3bAwAe

      October 19, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • Consensus

      And precisely what PERCENTAGE of patients suffer these side effects? How frequently do they occur? Compared to the effects of depression, how deleterious are these side effects?

      Really, dear, can't you do any better than this to promote your brand of snake oil?

      October 19, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "It's right on the bottle"? What a stupid, inane response to a legitimate question. Samuel, if you can't provide a neutral, widely-accepted, unbiased source of information, then just stop posting your idiocy.

      October 19, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      "I believe there is a direct correlation between all the bizarre behavior like shootings, stabbings, and beatings and our very high use of SSRI's"

      Probably... I assume the ones who did the shootings were NOT on SSRIs

      I may also assume your next argument is that the cure for cancer was found 30 years ago but Big Pharma is keeping it from the public to make a profit? If so, I also assume you are an idiot.

      October 19, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  16. Nice plug

    Pay for advertising like everyone else, will ya?

    October 19, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. erich2112x

    Occupy the pharmaceutical industry.

    October 19, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Righton

    How about trying a little exercise? Maybe get off the couch and go for a walk? Depressed b/c you're over weight? Well, there's a cure for that. Count calories and exercise!! Depressed b/c you're bored? Trying taking up a hobby!! Then, maybe you'll meet some people.

    October 19, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Right off

      @righton

      That is one of the most uneducated, immature, idiotic posts that I have ever read. Congratulations on your ignorance.

      October 19, 2011 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Suppose you're depressed for no obvious reason? Think it doesn't happen? You're wrong. People can become depressed when no single cause is present.

      You should stick to your own knitting and stop attempting to diagnose people without a medical degree, dear.

      October 19, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • Anthony Foust

      Great post, RIGHTON! :) Anybody who sits around all day saying to themselves that they're depressed are sure to wake up the next day depressed. Stop whimpering about your woes. I've known people with REAL problems; cancer, AIDS, no legs, no arms, deaf, blind, jobless...and they are all the positive and energetic people. Stop thinking the world revolves around you and your emotions. Try doing something for someone ELSE, and see that depression bug melt away. Stop living in the past, and get a hooby, learn a language...DO something with your life instead of playing the victim to a temporary emotion.

      October 20, 2011 at 07:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Yes, because those are ALL the reasons people become depressed... It has nothing to do with chemical imbalances, past traumas, or other underlying disorders like bipolar and such... The people who say diet and exercise are just as ignorant as the conspiracy theorists. Don't believe in the meds? Fine, don't take it. But that doesn't mean you need to insult me for needing them.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  19. Justin

    Check out a book by the name "the emperor's new drugs".

    Uses cold hard data to show that anti-depressants are basically sugar pills with nasty side effects.

    October 19, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      And it probably completely ignores the personal experiences of people whose lives are far better from finding the right treatment for what ails them.

      October 20, 2011 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
  20. BottomLine?

    So it seems like at the end of the day, there's no consensus. Understandably so....overtones of faith and various opinions on the subject of depression, none of which is given by a physician, will yield that result. I wonder, though, how much genetic pre-desposition has to do with this? I have never suffered from depression, nor anyone in my immediate family. However, my teenage child has been diagnosed to suffer from depression. He mother has it, her maternal grandmother has it, the list goes on. Dependency on these drugs concerns me a great deal, almost as much as possible side effects.

    October 19, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Consensus

      My experience tells me that there is a genetic link. My grandmother was hospitalized several times and treated for depression; she attempted suicide at least once. Both my mother and father were hospitalized for severe depression. All of my siblings and I are on antidepressants.

      We put the "fun" in "disfunctional".

      October 19, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • Consensus

      Would dependency on a drug for diabetes concern you? How about one for hypertension?

      People who are depressed can be helped to live productive, normal lives with medication when properly prescribed and monitored.

      October 19, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  21. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Ditto. Stop spamming, Wellness. You are full of crap.

    October 19, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Uncaring

    This was an interesting piece. I've known many people who were diagnosed with depression and took anti-depressants to help them. In some cases, they worked fairly well. In other cases, the person was still dramatically antisocial and had a difficult time being active. I'm not saying that they simply refuse to be helped (No one WANTS to be depressed. That would be the most idiodic thing I could ever type into this screen.) or that they shouldn't take the medication (Again, no one WANTS to be depressed and I fully believe that they should have a chance to be content in life) but that it does depend on a person's actions once they are on antidepressants. The comment on obesity was a good point. If you're on antidepressants, and not eating properly could increase your depression, you shouldn't go out and buy McDonalds every other day. People do have a few choices, even if the main choice in having the illness was not theirs.

    October 19, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      For the people you know for whom the anti-depressants weren't effective, it doesn't mean that medications couldn't help them... rather, that they have not yet found what works for them, and that they were perhaps misdiagnosed. That was my experience. For YEARS I was diagnosed with generalized depression/generalized anxiety, and my doctors tried Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, and Lexapro. Effexor was the only one that finally had a positive effect... although when I was put on it again many years later, it made me sick. So did its sister-drug Pristiq. I went off both almost immediately.

      But then, after a decade of trying to figure out why I just didn't feel right, one psychiatrist finally realized that my symptoms more closely resemble bipolar disorder than depression or anxiety. So she tried some other meds that are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, and they have changed my life. I am not exaggerating, I am happier and healthier now than I have ever been. And since it's the right treatment, the doses I'm on are quite low. After 2 years on those meds with mild adjustment, I feel like I have my life back!

      The point is, while it is incredibly, incredibly difficult for a person who struggles with mental illness to be persistent in pursuing treatment (because it's too easy to convince yourself that you're "broken" and relief is hopeless), it's important that they don't give up. The right solution is out there, and for many it does include non-medicated lifestyle adjustments along with appropriate medication. The best treatment is different for everyone, so no one who is struggling should ever give up hope that they CAN and WILL feel better.

      October 20, 2011 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  23. CaptHowdy

    The main reason is because everything in America has become just so wonderful over the past 20+ years

    October 19, 2011 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bobby

    Dangerous side-effects, dependence, all point to other non-drug therapies.. When I get depressed I meditate or use my FDA approved CES Machine.. They both work better for me than SSRI's.. Don't forget bio-feedback, accupunture and counseling.. Be extra careful giving AD to teenagers and children, if so they need to be monitored frequently by health professional....

    October 19, 2011 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Samuel

    I am going to end with saying that if you plan on or are on SSRI's DO YOUR RESEARCH. Look up the short and long term side effects of these drugs. Know what you are getting into. I have nothing to sell and there are permanent side effects @ consensus, i deal with them on a daily basis. HIstory will not judge SSRI's kindly. Bye bye.

    October 19, 2011 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Consensus

      No, there aren't "permanent side effects", unless you can back up your claim with a source that's reliable and widely accepted. Telling people that every warning that's "right on the bottle" is so ignorant it's laughable. There are very few medications, whether prescription or OTC that don't have side effects.

      People who suffer from depression should weigh the risk of side effects against the benefit of the drug.

      October 20, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  26. TampaMel

    Like everything else (take hand sanitizers for example) people are being sold a condition and, therefore, drugs they THINK they need. Being sad does not mean you have depression. Even if you are sad about something and that sadness lasts more than a day. Next time someone says to you, "I am depressed", please do not suggest a pill or if you are the one depressed, do not go to a doctor and demand a pill. Being depressed in NOT depression. Finally do not believe the media. They cannot resist a good story, even if that story might be misleading.

    October 20, 2011 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica

      There's a lot more to depression than "being sad." They can include things like severe suicidal thoughts/attempts, cutting, and eating disorders. Believe it or not, these pills (sometimes in conjunction with therapy, sometimes not) have saved a lot more lives than you think. I should know, I'm one of them.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
  27. Valentijn

    I just started on a low dose of an anti-depressant. Not because I'm depressed, but because my neurotransmitters are badly messed up due to a physical illness. I'd like to see the "trust in the lord and work hard" people try to function when their brain is constantly on fire from too much glutamate, and a good night's sleep is impossible.

    October 20, 2011 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Holling

    Anti-depressants are awesome while they are working. When they stop working they can ruin your life. I know from experience. And they always eventually stop working. 2 years, 5 years, 15 years. At some point they 'poop out' like any psychoactive drug and throw everything into chaos. They make changes to your brain chemistry that can take years to correct and some argue that some changes are permanent. Read 'Anatomy of an Epidemic.' They are indeed powerful drugs. But like most medicines that treat mental health problems they come from drugs that were not designed to do so. They came from drugs designed to do other things and the psychological community found out they worked in some degree on certain mental illnesses. Which is why they cause so many problems and are so misunderstood. The pharma companies are as corrupt and greedy as the tobacco companies and manipulate data. Unlike meds designed to kill bacteria and target cancer, drugs used to treat mental illness were not designed to do as advertised. Currently the best way to treat mental illness, even serious mental illness, is psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

    October 20, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      Sono curiosissimo i nigocli hanno cambiato leggermente espressione, portano mutande e rubano di tutto agli umani..lo stile cartoon sembra davvero piacevole e scanzonato speriamo bene!

      April 8, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
  29. Jinnie

    Most whites are on some kind of antidepressants because they cannot cope with life. I see how the handle minor situations. They cannot handle anything, they have to take drugs, see a shrink, or are depressed.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JulieS

    It is true, whites cannnot cope with life. They are depressed, bipolar and need drugs or professional help just to exist.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. AlanG

    They are all depressed because they are all about money and only want, want, and want things which they think will make them happy.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. WellnessDrive

    I was only stating what has worked for me.

    It's amazing how a healthy diet and exercise can make changes in a person. I also supplement as many people do. I have spent years in research. Hence my comments comes from what I believe is the best.

    October 20, 2011 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you're not. You show up on every Health blog and all you're doing is shilling. Knock it off.

      October 20, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
  33. kingdombusinessinc

    While I was in the military, having marital problems, had recently returned from Desert storm in excruciating pain later to find out I had herniated a disk in my back, sleepless nights and so called anxiety attacks, I was given Paxil and Zoloft, I took neither. I am a nurse and I knew most of the mental drugs make things worse and one of the major side effects is suicidal tendencies. Later I was diagnosed with a heart condition and they made plans to take my heart. More drugs offered, took them for a little bit but the quality of life was gone so I stopped and sought other answers. That's when I came to the realization that Doctors are in the sickness business, not about health and healing or curing anything. My colleagues said "They do medicine." So for those of you who are yelling for doctors to look at alternative, they know none. Only 6% know anything about nutrition. The reason for majority of all the mental issues is malnutrition. The increase of everything, diseases and the mental issues are due to the lack of nutrition in the diet. 98% of what's in the grocery stores are toxic, GM's which give you diseases, you go to the doctor, he gives you drugs, you get sicker in another area of your body and get more drugs and then you end up with kidney failure or cancer and you die. All the while BIG Pharma, and the Major Corporations of America have gotten really fat off you. Why do you think there is a Pharmacy on every corner, and now they are building Dialysis Centers. It is the Diet, and I can say that to be totally true. I took responsibility for my own life and I did the research. Did you know only 6% of the doctors have past elementary education in nutrition and that is the basis for your body. A doctor to the body is like a bank robber with a plastic pistol... looks like a gun and will scare somebody but it won't save your life when you fired on. I am now a Nutritional and Wellness consultant and I can say that with the TOTAL PROPER NUTRITION I am totally out of pain, I still have my heart, I sleep at will, I am on no medications and I have a clean bill of health because I go get my annual check up and I am mobile with a herniated disk. You see you give the body what it needs and the immune system will take care of everything...that's what it was made to do. And on another note, you won't find the nutrition in a grocery store or on a Walmart or GNC shelf. Again, 98% of everything in the grocery is toxic and the supplements vitamins etc are synthetic and the body doesn't recognize or absorb them. So they can make things worse and you're wasting your money. Why do you think we are the wealthiest country, yet the sickest, most obese and most medicated. We raise all this money they say searching for cures but it all goes to pay the administrators who make 6 figures a month (non-profit right). The cure for EVERYTHING IS IN NUTRITION. So find you a good source of Nutrition not parts but ALL and you will get well, feel well, live well and fight off diseases that are killing the the obese malnourished. I found a solution and I am enjoying life and feeling younger everyday.

    October 20, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. gary levine

    THE CHEMICAL IMBALANCE MYTH

    Although each of the SSRI manufacturers admit they do not know how their respective drugs work, each claim that they help to correct a chemical imbalance of the brain. The assumption for each of these drugs is that if a person is depressed (each and every depressed person), they have a reduced number of neurotransmitters in the brain called serotonin.

    As one well-known psychiatrist put it: “[SSRIs] are not correcting a biochemical imbalance, these drugs create severe imbalances in the brain. ... The idea that human suffering, psychological suffering, is biochemical is strictly a promotional campaign, perhaps the most successful in the history of the world, created by the drug companies. We do not even have a technology, a scientific technology, for measuring what happens inside the brain ... it is literally a fabrication.”

    The next time you see a Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil commercial, watch carefully. You will see that, when the drug company explains that depression is a serious medical illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, it will be prefaced with the word "may" i.e., "depression may be caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain."

    They must preface this statement with "may" because this theory has not been scientifically established. This unproven theory has been propagated by the pharmaceutical industry in order to sell psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs.

    In May 2003, GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”), the maker of Paxil, announced in Ireland (The Irish Times, Saturday May 10, 2003) that it was withdrawing claims contained in Paxil (called Seroxat in Ireland and the UK) brochures that the drug worked by normalizing the levels of serotonin. GSK was forced to acknowledge that the link between depression and serotonin levels is unproven and that its claims “were not consistent with the scientific literature.”

    If your doctor tells you that these drugs will correct an imbalance in your brain chemicals, please realize that more than likely your doctor got this from drug company representatives as part of the drug companies’ marketing activities. There is no scientific evidence to support such a statement. Just because you are depressed does not mean that there is something wrong with your brain chemicals.

    October 20, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. evelynpoulin

    According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, on which the study was based, 11 percent of Americans, or nearly one in 10, aged 12 and older took antidepressants during the 2005-08 study period. http://bit.ly/rgqJjS

    October 21, 2011 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Larry Bone

    How much money is being spent on each person taking antidepressants if you figure TV ads, magazine ads, other marketing costs, payments to doctors, etc.? And how many people would actually be taking these drugs if all that spending were prohibited? And what about the studies that show antidepressants are barely more effective than placebos?

    October 24, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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  39. Meds have many purposes, not just depression

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0801/p498.html

    'This article reviews the use of SSRIs for six conditions commonly managed by family physicians: generalized anxiety disorder, premature ejaculation, migraine headache, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and neurocardiogenic syncope.'

    Nobody knows why a person takes a certain med.

    http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/fibromyalgia.cfm
    'Most people with fibromyalgia are women (about 80 – 90 percent). ' If women are treated with SSRI for the pain, it makes sense they take more than men.

    June 25, 2013 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
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