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Antidepressant use increases 400%

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Ten percent of Americans are using antidepressants. US government researchers revealed that one in ten people over the age of 12 is taking one of these popular drugs to deal with stress, anxiety and depression of all degrees. Today, antidepressants are used for a number of things including obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Antidepressants are the third most common drug prescribed and used by Americans between 2005 and 2008 when the records were reviewed for this study. Researchers looked at the medical records of over 12,000 people who volunteered to participate in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between those years. Additionally, they were the singularly most popular class of drugs for people aged 18-44. The data was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Amazingly, use increased over 400% when compared to the 1988-1994 period results. US women are two and a half times more likely than men to take antidepressants. Whites outnumber blacks on taking the drugs. More than 60 percent of people say they have been taking the drugs for two years or more. As many as 14 percent say they been on the meds for over ten years. Also, more people get the prescriptions from their regular doctor instead of a specialist like a psychiatrist. In fact, fewer than a third of Americans taking one prescription med and fewer than half of the people taking more than one med have ever seen a mental health professional.

Source: Reuters, CDC

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