By Mike Barrett
If sales for antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro, or Prozac tell us anything, it’s that depression is sweeping the nation. But a new study questions the validity of most of these sales. The study has found that the majority of individuals on antidepressants – a whopping 69% – do not even meet the criteria for clinical depression. These individuals are likely just experiencing normal sadness and hardships that most of us experience.
In addition to finding that nearly two-thirds of antidepressant-takers don’t meet criteria for depression, the researchers also note how 38% of those taking antidepressants for other psychiatric disorders do not meet the criteria. These include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobio, general anxiety, and a number of other arguably fabricated mental disorders.
The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, reads:
“Objective: Past studies have shown that many individuals who use antidepressants have no current or lifetime history of mental disorders. However, recent studies suggest that the one-time retrospective evaluation of mental disorders commonly used in such studies may substantially underestimate the true lifetime prevalence of mental disorders. We examined the prevalence of mental disorders, assessed prospectively over multiple interviews, among individuals currently using antidepressants in a community sample.
…Conclusions: Many individuals who are prescribed and use
antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for
mental disorders. Our data indicate that antidepressants are
commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based
Prescriptions for anti-depressants have skyrocketed over the past several decades. In 1998, 11.2 million Americans used these drugs. By 2010, it was 23.3 million.
A few years back, Harvard conducted a study to reiterate what many in the psych professionals already know – Americans are addicted to anti-depression meds. We collectively pop Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, and Zoloft pills like they are candy in an attempt to boost mood and feel better. The increase in sales of anti-depressants is up a startling 400%. This pill-popping became the norm, even though clinical studies suggest there are numerous natural remedies that can help us feel better, without the pricey and life altering side-effects that many of these drugs can cause.
Unfortunately, we are fighting a partnership between the psychiatric community and doctors that exists in the background. An astonishing 70 percent of the panel members of psychiatric bible, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, reported having financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. About 57 percent reported ties in the previous edition. This is just one reason pharmaceuticals are sweeping the nation.
Thankfully, the natural health movement will likely bring our pill-popping addiction down a peg as natural alternatives are sought after in order to avoid fueling the drug companies and their side-effect-riddled drugs. After all, natural solutions do exist.