And no, I’m not talking about our economy, but rather clinical depression demonstrated by an increase in antidepressant drugs.  The United States now has 27 million residents on antidepressant medication.

Reuters reports:

Use of antidepressant drugs in the United States doubled between 1996 and 2005, probably because of a mix of factors, researchers reported on Monday.

About 6 percent of people were prescribed an antidepressant in 1996 — 13 million people. This rose to more than 10 percent or 27 million people by 2005, the researchers found.

"Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African Americans," Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University in New York and Steven Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Not only are more U.S. residents being treated with antidepressants, but also those who are being treated are receiving more antidepressant prescriptions," they added. (read rest)

They aren’t sure why but some attribute it to social acceptance, as well as, the availability of new drugs.  I wonder if this is a case of an increase for clinical depression or just an increase of people who are willing to seek treatment for it?  I also wonder how much of this is actually situational rather than chemical induced and doesn’t require medication.

Either way, not a good trend.

10 comments
    1. @Angela (I am Pooped), I know you said you didn’t want to participate, but… I have no idea how long you’ve had clinical depression, or how you treat it, are you willing and knowledgeable about any changes in how effective meds have been in the last 15 years or so?

      If you don’t want to, please just delete this from your in-box.
      .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..Good Question =-.

  1. I think it’s because it’s more acceptable to get treatment for depression– it’s also more effective with modern medicines, or at least less dangerous.

    It’s well known to run in my mom’s family– I don’t THINK any of us have had to go for chemical help, at least not prescription type, but I do know that my Granny would’ve NEVER admitted to depression, but now my mom is willing to talk about it with family friends.
    .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..Good Question =-.

      1. @Shane Vander Hart,

        Well, it is just fooling around with the chemicals in someone’s head, basically. If we guess wrong what way the chemicals are skewed, then it’d be a big push in the wrong direction.

        Huh… just had another side-thought: soy mimics estrogen, enough so that breast cancer patients aren’t to touch anything with soy in it. (which is way more than you might expect; it’s especially common in diet foods) Some women go through major depression cycles based on their hormone cycle in the month– it might be possible that eating soy during this time can be a “boost” to that feeling.

        I can easily see how someone who’s already prone to depression, is single, trying to lose weight and gains water weight while dieting because of their cycle, then a nudge from that, too… yeah, that would be a pretty dang black phase. If there’s nobody there to help you out, it’d be very easy to slip right under.
        .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..Heart Of A Warrior =-.

  2. Oh, side note: real depression might be a lot more common because I know being lonely is a big trigger for a lot of folks, and there’s more and more folks living a long ways away from family and friends these days. Not to mention the kind of damage that a hook-up culture can do to young folks– inherent damage to building solid relationships.
    .-= Foxfier´s last blog ..Good Question =-.

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