The Checkup: Why Are We So Depressed?

Antidepressant use in the US has skyrocketed over the last two decades

New stats out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans’ use of antidepressants is up 400 percent since 1988, making antidepressants the third most commonly prescribed drugs in the country. The other findings include:

• Eleven percent of Americans over age 12 use antidepressants.

• Women are 2.5 times more likely than men to take them. Nearly a quarter of women aged 40 to 59 take antidepressants, more than any other age group.

• Less than a third of people taking the medications have seen a mental health professional in the past year.

• Although the drugs can be used to treat other issues, such as anxiety, most of the people on antidepressants take them to treat depression.

So what do you think: Are people more depressed now than 20 years ago, or are diagnosis rates just higher? A little of both?

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