Monday, April 14, 2014

Is There a Glut on Anti-Depressants?

New York Times writer Roni Caryn Rabin wrote a thought provoking article last fall titled, "A Glut of Anti-Depressants.

Two alarming statistics she cites:
  • One in ten Americans now takes anti-depressants.
  • For women in their 40s and 50s, this rises to one in four. 
Why? Rabin references research led by Dr. Ramin Mojtabai of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She says,
The study, published in April in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, found that nearly two-thirds of a sample of more than 5,000 patients who had been given a diagnosis of depression within the previous 12 months did not meet the criteria for major depressive episode as described by the psychiatrists’ bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or D.S.M.).
Dr. Mojtabai's study indicated that this is particularly true among the elderly.

Given the side effect potential and costs, as well as the possibility that a different treatment would be more helpful or that treatment is unneeded, this is worrisome indeed.

A good counselor can help you determine if a depression diagnosis is right for you - and what could help with whatever got you that diagnosis, whether it's accurate or not.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
Psychotherapy for Change


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on psychotherapy. I had no clue that there was such an emphasis on it or really how big of a problem it is. Can you tell me where I might be able to find more information about it and how it affects a population as a whole? This is fantastic.

    Suzy | Newsome & Associates

  2. Hi, Suzy. If you want to learn more, my recommendation is that you start with the research linked to in the New York Times article and work your way out from there. The journal articles will include citations for any research they reference.

  3. Thanks for your posting! I would like to encourage continue your nice posts, I also working which if you are experiencing an emotional crisis, a social problem, or a major life change.

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  4. The statistic are really interesting, I would have to agree with the article that people can see counselors as a way to combat any negativity. The article really helped me understand this better.