Antidepressant medication
A CDC report estimates that 11 percent of all Americans use antidepressants. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A growing number of Americans have begun using anti-depression medications during the past few decades. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 10 percent of the American population is currently on some sort of antidepressants.

One in 10 on some sort of antidepressant

The Centers for Disease Control recently released a study that revealed an enormous increase in the number of people taking antidepressants, according to CBS. The CDC estimates that 11 percent of the U.S. population regularly takes medication for depression.

The CDC conducted the study between 2005 and 2008 and polled more than 12,000 subjects 12 years and older. The CDC estimates in the report, called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey according to the Wall Street Journal, that antidepressant use in the United States has increased by 400 percent since 1988.

Women more likely than men

The CDC found that women are 2.5 times more likely to take antidepressants than men, according to CBS. Women between the ages of 40 and 59 reported the most use of antidepressants, making up 23 percent of users, according to the Wall Street Journal. Most use of antidepressants occurs between the ages of 18 and 40, according to WebMD. Use between genders was equal in people ages 12 to 17 taking antidepressants. The CDC estimates that one in 25 people in that age group, according to MSNBC, take antidepressant medication.

White people use them more than African Americans and Hispanics; 14 percent of Caucasians use antidepressants compared with 4 percent of African Americans and 3 percent of Hispanics.

Antidepressants are the third most commonly ingested prescription medication, according to WebMD.

Many cases go untreated

The report also says that many cases of depression are going untreated. Of people that exhibit severe depression symptoms, 66 percent don’t take them. Only one-third of women and 20 percent of men take medication for depression. Antidepressants are also being prescribed for people who don’t need them, as 8 percent of users took them without showing any symptoms of depression, though the drugs can be used to treat anxiety and other conditions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to CBS, 14 percent of anti-depressant users have been taking the drugs for a decade or more and almost 60 percent have been taking them for two years or more.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a study that was published in August found that 6.4 percent of people taking anti-depressants weren’t diagnosed with a mental illness and 75 percent of anti-depression medication prescriptions are not written by a psychiatrist.



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