The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report on the state of antidepressant use in America. Antidepressants are a form of prescription medication most often prescribed to treat clinical depression. However, antidepressants can work to treat other mood and personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Antidepressants can be used for long term or for short term. Modern medicine sees pharmaceutical treatments as long term. Complementary and holistic medicines, however, see pharmaceuticals as treating the symptoms of a problem, not the problem itself. Evidence-based therapy types like cognitive behavioral therapy have been proven efficient in reducing symptoms of depression significantly. Numerous studies have found, on the other hand, that practices like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can reduce symptoms of depression into remission. Depression, like addiction, is a relapsing and remitting disorder. Reducing the symptoms of depression into remission long term is possible. Studies have compared the results of those on medications like antidepressants and those not. Both have greatly benefited from alternative therapies.

Between 1999 and 2014, the survey found, the number of people who reported taking an antidepressant within the last month has risen by 65%. One in every eight Americans over the age of twelve recently used antidepressants, according to the survey. Other facts discovered from the data include:

  • Long-term antidepressant use has become more common
  • One-fourth of all participants, who had taken antidepressants in the last month, had been taking antidepressants for 10 years or more
  • Women are twice as likely to take antidepressants
  • 16.5% of females surveyed use antidepressants
  • 9% of males surveyed use antidepressants


Reasons For Increase In Antidepressant Use

The increase in antidepressant use throughout America can be seen as a positive and a negative. Depression is the most globally pervasive mental health disorder. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 350 million people worldwide are struggling with depression. Many of them are undiagnosed and untreated. In America, the dialogue regarding mental health, stigma, and the common experience of depression has been growing. More people have access to health care, prescriptions and support than before. With an open dialogue, the stigma of depression and mental health has also been receding. Antidepressant use signals that more people are getting the help they need. Long term antidepressant use might indicate that while people are getting support through medication, they may be only relying on that form of support. Therapy, treatment, and other methods do have the potential for reducing the amount of years spent on antidepressants.


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