Looks like, as a country, we’re feeling the blues. A new study shows that, since 1996, the number of people taking antidepressants has doubled. These days, about one out of every ten people in the U.S. is poppin’ depression meds. Oddly enough, during the same period, the number of people seeing psychiatrists has decreased by over ten percent. So, what’s up with this seemingly contradictory trend?Let’s face it, therapy is expensive and a lot of insurance companies don’t cover it. So rather than heading to psychiatrists, people go directly to their doctors, who are giving out prescriptions more readily, regardless of whether they have extensive mental health training or not. Since new fangled antidepressants have fewer side effects and are much safer than ever before, many docs are more comfortable dishing ‘em out.
Advertising has also played a huge role here, too. Pharmaceutical companies have increased the amount they spend on antidepressant marketing from $32 million to $122 million. So, peeps who are feeling down and out are more likely to know what’s out there and ask the doctor about it. [USA Today]
Do you think we are becoming a pill poppin’ culture, or does this prescription increase make sense?