Sales of antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac indicate that depression would be the Achilles heel of the health systems. But a new study questions the validity of most of these sales: it highlights the fact that the majority of people taking antidepressants, over 69% do not meet the criteria for clinical depression. These people are just victims of the vagaries of life as most of us with more or less difficult times.
Dr. Howard Forman, medical director of the Addiction Consultation Service at Montefiore Medical Center, says that clinical depression is very different from temporary feelings of sadness.
“We all experience periods of stress, periods of sadness, and periods of self-doubt,” Forman says.
“These don’t make us mentally ill, they define us as human.”
Besides that almost two thirds of people using antidepressants do not meet the criteria for depression, the researchers also noted that 38% of those who are taking them are doing so for other various psychiatric disorders. These include panic or obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety, and a number of other mental disorders, probably manufactured.
The conclusion of this study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry states:
“Conclusions: many people who have been prescribed antidepressants do not respond to the mental disorder criteria. Our data indicates that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear factual indications “.
The antidepressant prescriptions have skyrocketed in recent years. In 1998, 11.2 million Americans used these drugs. In 2010 it was 23.3 million.
The new study also reveals that you are more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant if you are a woman, white, report physical pain or discomfort to your doctor, or have recently visited a mental health care facility.
Women who take antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with autism.
The U.S. study supports previous research which has shown that taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of having a child with the developmental disability.
Another American research revealed young adults taking high-dose antidepressants such as Prozac and Seroxat have double the risk of suicidal behavior.
Researchers pointed out that antidepressant drugs are linked with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents, particularly in the early stages of treatment.
At European level, Iceland remains first in the table (now with 106 pills per day per thousand inhabitants, against 65 in 2000), followed by Denmark (85), Sweden (79), Portugal (78), United Kingdom (71), Finland (70), Belgium (70), Spain (64), Norway (58) and Luxembourg (51).
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, “increasing the intensity and duration of treatment are among the factors that can explain the overall increase in consumption of antidepressants.”