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.
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