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Re: One in ten Americans take antidepressants

Posted by SLS on July 4, 2015, at 8:30:51

In reply to One in ten Americans take antidepressants, posted by Phil on July 3, 2015, at 21:40:36

> I don't know if this is news. It is to me.

I do not think that the efficacy of antidepressants is overstated for people whose depression is the type for which these drugs are best-suited to treat. In other words, I think depressive disorders (Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder) are over-diagnosed. There is no motivation on the part of general practitioners and many psychiatrists to attempt making a differential diagnosis between biogenic and psychogenic depression; that is to say, which treatment is to be chosen when a patient enters the treatment room and complains of "depression". Depression has many faces. I don't know if psychotherapy is considered often enough in depression that is not clearly biogenic.

Another factor might be that there has been an increase in the psychosocial stresses present in the culture of the United States, from pre-school to retirement. These can damage the brain through several mechanisms and lead to depressive disorders, especially when these stresses occur early in life, including adolescence. A rate of incidence of depression being as high as 10% does not sound unreasonable to me. I just don't know what the true rate of affective illness is (MDD + BD).

Antidepressants are now prescribed for ailments other than those that are psychiatric. This might account for some of the increase in prescriptions.

Certainly, the drug companies are enjoying a windfall for the over-diagnosis of MDD. However, they are not responsible for the lack of use of diagnostic protocols. Unfortunately there are no readily available biological tests for MDD or BD, although several are being looked at in research milieus.

- Scott

Some see things as they are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.

- George Bernard Shaw




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