Overmedicated: Over Two-thirds of Patients on Anti-depressants Aren’t Depressed

Many times individuals are prescribed medications while left wondering if there was a clear reason for their prescription, and when it comes to mental disorders, this is no exception. A recent study looked at the prevalence of mental disorders prospectively assessed over multiple interviews with participants currently prescribed and using antidepressant medications; the results were shocking.

Participants were assessed for their lifetime prevalence of common mood and anxiety disorders using DSM-III and DSM-III-R criteria over four interviews. Among the anti-depressant users, 69 percent of individuals did not, and had never met the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) and 38 percent never met the criteria for MDD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder over their lifetime. This means these people were prescribed medications and had not met the criteria set in place to determine and justify their use. This brings up questions of the lack of evidence-based indications for prescribing these medications and calls for closer attention and care to be made when prescribing.


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