The Checkup: Americans’ Antidepressant Use Up 400 Percent

Why are we so glum?

• A new report out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans’ use of antidepressants is up 400 percent since 1988. Between 2005 and 2008, they were the third most prescribed drug in all age categories. Women are 2.5 times more likely to take them than men, and eight percent of people age 12 and over who take them don’t currently have depressive symptoms. WebMD has more stats to look at if you’d like, but geez—that’s a really sharp incline in 23 years, don’t you think? Now, granted, these kinds of medications are used to treat other conditions, such as anxiety, but the CDC found that most people who take antidepressants do so to treat depression. So is it that depression is better understood and more frequently diagnosed now than in the 1980s, or are there actually more cases of depression now than then? Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

• Speaking of depression, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic is treating it with magnets.

• Tyra Banks says her hair fell out from stress. The stressor? Her newly released young adult book, Modelland, touted by her publisher as “the FIERCE new novel from Tyra Banks.” It took her five years to write. Um …

• And in today’s inspiration category comes this: the story of a blind high school cross country runner who runs with a guide dog.