CDC: Americans' antidepressant use skyrocketing

October 19, 2011 1:30:12 PM PDT
Antidepressant use in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the past year with use among Americans of all ages, increasing nearly 400 percent, according to the findings of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study also found that 11 percent of Americans ages 12 and older now take antidepressant drugs.

While those statistics may seem high , experts say there are several reasons. One of course is the struggling economy and loss of jobs. But the other reason may be more people are seeking out help.

"Psychological problems in general do not have the stigma they once had," said Dr. Angelos Halaris, a psychiatrist at Loyola University Medical Center. "So people are becoming more comfortable seeking out professional help to talk about depression anxiety, high levels of stress, and of course an assessment and diagnosis done correctly is the first line or first choice of treatment."

Dr. Halaris is concerned that the study also found that one0-third of patients taking an antidepressant had not seen a mental health professional in the past year.

Halaris adds, any patient should undergo a full assessment before being put on an antidepressant and should be followed up regularly by a qualified doctor.

If you'd like to read the full CDC report, it is posted on the CDC's website,

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