In class, we discuss the evolution of mental health defenses in torts as society has come to recognize widespread emotional and behavioral problems. Like earlier studies, the latest report from Medco Health Solutions gives a glimpse into how common such problems are in our society with more than one in four American women taking at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression last year. This rate rose by 22 percent since 2001.
The highest group was women aged 45 and older
“In adults 20 to 44, use of antipsychotic drugs and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) more than tripled, while use of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium and Ativan rose 30per cent from a decade ago.”
Women remain far more likely to use such medication than men, though the rate did increase for men.
Notably, some states were less medicated than others. The lowest rate of prescriptions was found in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where less than 15 per cent of people are using those medications.
Source: Daily Mail
37 thoughts on “One in Four U.S. Women Take Medication for Mental Health Programs”
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Its not often that you find such blog posts. Well written and aptly presented. good work. Will follow this post.
Web content like these help to make the whole web experience worthwhile. The flexibility to write about your personal thoughts and observations with the whole world. Truly cool
The approach to mental health issues, as has been noted, tends to be collapsed into a “pharmaceutical deficiency” rather than an indicator of a health problem per se.
We regularly see patients who come to us either as a last resort, or as a first choice, because we look at the whole person, including their genetics, digestion, inflammation, infection, hormones, life situation, age, allergies, etc. before determining whether the person indeed needs medication, or if in fact they don’t. Many other physiologic problems present as psychiatric problems or symptoms and are, sadly, mistreated as such.
Dr. Katherine Morris
Education Director of The National Center for Whole Psychiatry
As Jill accurately notes, the more information the better — consumers/patients need to know their options. For example, exercise is a powerful antidote for depression, as well as anxiety — studies have borne out its efficacy. (Perhaps this is redundant… have only barely skimmed the thread.)
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/prescribing-exercise-to-treat-depression/ (This is a recent article, but rather old news…)
(Oro Lee, My heart goes out to you — I’m sorry for your loss.)
The organization that I work for educates individuals and families on their rights when it comes to mental health, side effects of these drugs and the alternatives to psychotropic drugs. Many people are not aware that there are alternatives. People need to have this information so they can make an informed decision.
OroLee, I am so sorry for your loss. Seems some of these meds get the green light before the side effects are well enough documented in the research phase.
“As the Brain Withers “(Book Review by Brenda Rossini)
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker (Crown Publishers: NY, 2010).
The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, by Irving Kirsch (Basic Books: 2010).
Lithium, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Prozac, Risperdal, Paxil, Zoloft, Oxycontin, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Tegretol, Lamictal, Ritalin. Are these psychotropics familiar as pals to you, to members of your family, and to friends? Check the medicine cabinets.
Problem is many mentioned are not antidepressants, tegretol is an anticonvulsant (also used in trigeminal neuralgia – a severe and often disabling facial pain disorder). Klonopoin, alsoi an antidepressant. Oxycontin, of course, a narcotic used for severe pain, often times for those with chronic intractable pain. Ztprexa is an antipsychotic. This is one problem lumping in meds that are not psychotrophic in with those that are.
In an earlier post in topic someone pointed out we do not know why these drugs were prescribed.
Antidepressants and other psychotrop meds are used in chronic pain conditions, not for their psych use but because they do seem to have a role in the biological mechanism of chronic pain.
There is proven bias against women with complaints of chronic pain, despite thier having higher incidences of pain disorders such as lupus, MS rheumatoid arthritis, CRPS, trigeminal neuralgia. They have a harder time being believed, diagnosed, and receiving adequate and proper treatment.
Studies like this I feel have a gender bias effect as well: women are still emotional wrecks, just like with the mad cartoon when valium was the orm. Keep your women medicated and you won;t have to deal with their little hysterical selves.
If there is over medication, and I have no doubt there is, my cynisism says this is one reason why.
(and now I’ll get off my soapbox)
Most of these are prescribed by internists, family practitioners, etc. who have no idea how to diagnose psychiatric problems.
Oro Lee – I am so sorry about your nephew. What a sad and terrible loss.
kathleen says — many common OTC drugs can cause depression: Tagamet, ibuprofen, and naproxen for example.
And, again, more so with teens given their hormonal surges. And those listed side-effects of prescribed medications — those effects can be amplified in a teen.
Starting his second semester of high school, my nephew had the world by the tail — good grades, well liked, participated in school, church, and civic activities, and was a hell of a pitcher. Three Div-I powerhouses were trying to get him to come to their summer camps.
Also had a pretty bad case of acne. Suicide six months after the first acne medication prescription. Subsequently, the pill company upgraded the depression alert on the insert to may cause suicidal tendencies.
Sounds reasonable to me…
Research is clear that for the vast majority of common garden variety depression, a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy was much more effective than either alone. Those who got psychotherapy were able use less medication, or to stop taking the antidepressants sooner or to .
About fifteen percent (more or less) of cases of depression are treatment resistant no matter whether medication or psychotherapy is used.
For those who advocate homeopathic remedies for depression, keep in mind that all the so-called natural treatments such as St. John’s Wort are also medications. In fact, St. John’s Wort functions as an SSRI, much like Prozac or Zoloft. The downside is that you are getting other chemicals in the herb and you do not know what they are or how they will effect your body chemistry.
Kathleen: “Too often, in our HMO-nation, depression is ONLY treated with pharmaceuticals, as therapy is deemed to be too costly. Instead, patients are started on powerful and addictive brain-altering drugs while they are incapable of thinking through the consequences and alternatives. It seems to me that deciding to permanently alter a person’s brain chemistry ought to be the last resort, while all too often it is chosen as the first response.”
In the main I agree with you. As an employee advocate for a union I came into contact with a lot of people that were being overwhelmed by real problems and ended up with some level of depression (or downright hysteria) because in part they found themselves in a position they believed to be hopeless. What they needed was some ongoing problem-solving assistance to resolve the problems that they could solve themselves but didn’t have the training to recognise and do so.
My office worked closely with an employee assistance office staffed by a psychologist and just using basic problem solving and behaviour analysis tools many, many people were enabled to ‘cure’ most of their problems themselves which did improve their mental health. People with deeper problems or suspected illness were referred to other professional agencies and practitioners that might be able to help them. It’s always tempting to shove a pill at someone that comes into your office weeping and freaked out and I suspect many doctors do it as a reflex. If you don’t have that luxury it does become labor and time intensive and expensive but the client is given tools (for life) that are worth every penny and minute it takes.
I am not a mental health professional, don’t play one on TV and have had spells of being totally ****ed-up myself.
anon, are there medications for chronic anal-retentive syndrome? It’s worth checking out.
I heard a story that a lot of estrogen from birth control pills is ending up in the water and causing lack of desire in men.
Maybe the problem is that scourge of the Victorian era – hysteria? Induced by low levels of testosterone in men caused by estrogen in the water because both men and women wanted more sex.
Now isnt that ironic?
anon, Are you trying to start something? lol
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