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Concern Regarding Increased Prescribing of Antidepressants

Posted Oct 03 2008 12:52pm

This article discusses a European study that also examined data in the U.S.  The authors of the research express concern about the increased prescription rates for antidepressants in both Europe and America.  For the American data, the authors contend that individuals with less severe depression as a group (i.e. middle-aged adults, Whites) are getting antidepressants too often, while the more seriously depressed among us (i.e. younger adults, the poor) aren't getting them enough.  I find this research interesting, in that it prompts a wide variety of interesting follow-up research questions.  For example, how would the various groups respond to therapy versus medication, or therapy combined with medication?  Which would be more cost-effective to provide, both short-term and long-term?  Are there certain cultural or attitudinal differences between the groups regarding the use of mental health medications?  Therapy?  If you're in graduate school, there are some dissertation topics, feel free to research away (please address all consulting checks to: Postcards from the Id, P.O. Box...).  In all seriousness, I think antidepressants have taken some big hits recently, maybe too much, but only because the companies making them were making promises the medications couldn't keep.  The research will continue, and hopefully we'll get even more answers regarding what works for whom, and when, in the near future.

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