Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interesting:Antidepressant Sales Rise as Depression Falls

This goodie from the Neuroskeptic blog-
Antidepressant sales are rising in most Western countries, and they have been for at least a decade. Recently, we learned that the proportion of Americans taking antidepressants in any given year nearly doubled from 1996 to 2005.
The authors examined medical records from 1.7 million British patients in primary care (General Practice, i.e. family doctors.) They found that antidepressant sales rose strongly between 1993 and 2005, not because more people are taking these drugs, but entirely because of an increase in the duration of treatment amongst the antidepressant users. It's not that more people are taking them, it's that people are taking them for longer.

In fact, the number of people being diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants has actually fallen over time. The rate of diagnosed depression remained steady from 1993 to about 2001, and then fell markedly, by about a third, up to 2005. This trend was seen in both men and women, but there were age differences. In 18-30 year olds, there was a gradual increase in diagnoses before the decrease. (Note that these graphs show the number of people getting their first ever diagnosis of depression in each year.)

More here. Worth a read. (Sorry for the colors and what not, blogger is acting up again!) 


Syd said...

I think that there is more depression these days because of job loss, financial crises, and stress. Just my anecdotal observation.

susan said...

Syd, I think you are right. But it seems my grandparents weren't as depressed during the Great Depression as people are today.

Ana said...

The word "depression" is overused.
I hear children saying "I'm depressed." instead of "I'm sad."
One step to go to the psychiatrist.
It's sad!
Funny because "sad" is now the word we use for "It's unacceptable, hideous..."
Take care Susan.

Anonymous said...

I don't think 'depression' slacking off... I think more people are in denial for fear they will be linked to some suicidal maniac if they say 'they are suffering from depression'. It is a chemisty issue, and there is help for that. Being 'blue' and having depression are two totally different issues... Some people can drink every day and how zero issues...then there are some that one drink is never enough and stopping is a serious undertaking...
Again, the difference between alcoholism, and drinking are the same as being 'blue' to having depression issues.

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