Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Antidepressants: most prescribed drug in the United States

Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

According to CNN, , the CDC "looked at 2.4 billion drugs prescribed in visits to doctors and hospitals in 2005. Of those, 118 million were for antidepressants. High blood pressure drugs were the next most-common with 113 million prescriptions. "

Critics worry: "Doctors are now medicating unhappiness," said Dworkin. "Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives."

This unfortunately is very true. In our 'quick fix' society, people often would rather take a pill to lose weight rather than exercise and diet. People would often rather take a pill to manage their anxiety, OCD, and sadness rather than take classes, go to therapy, or work on themselves and improve their life situations.

People with major depression will greatly benefit from antidepressants, and according to CNN, "...She added that 25 percent of adults will have a major depressive episode sometime in their life, as will 8 percent of adolescents. "Those are remarkably high numbers," Posner said. "

The trick is figuring out who is suffering from a chemical imbalance that will improve from psychotropic medication, and who is simply in a bad situation and needs to make changes to their lives. The gray area is that often people who have been under stress from tough situations will often develop brain changes and end up with major depression as well, and though antidepressants will not fix their life stressors, it may help them to get a good night's sleep, help them concentrate long think through their problems, and help them stay calm long enough to initiate positive change.

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