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Saturday, April 4, 2015

The majority of people taking antidepressants may not actually have depression


The majority of people taking antidepressants may not actually have depression, a new study claims.

Researchers discovered more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of people taking antidepressants did not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, which is also known as clinical depression.

Antidepressants are also prescribed for other psychiatric disorders.

But the researchers found 38 per cent of those taking the drugs did not meet the criteria for obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia or generalised anxiety disorder either.

The U.S. investigators looked at those taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), the most commonly prescribed type of anti-depressant.

SSRIs are usually the first choice medication for depression and other psychiatric conditions because they generally have fewer side effects than most other types of antidepressant.

Writing in the report, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers concluded: ‘Many individuals prescribed antidepressants may not have met the criteria for mental disorders.

‘Our data indicates that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications.’

Commenting on the study, Dr Howard Forman, medical director of the Addiction Consultation Service at Montefiore Medical Center, said clinical depression is distinct from temporary feelings of sadness.

He told Medical Daily: 'We all experience periods of stress, periods of sadness, and periods of self-doubt.

'These don’t make us mentally ill, they define us as human.'

In the U.S., official guidelines say clinical depression should be diagnosed if a person has five or more depressive symptoms over a two week period, most of the day, nearly every day.

The symptoms include a depressed mood; a loss of interested or pleasure in activities; weight loss, weight gain or changes in appetite; insomnia or increased desire to sleep.

Prescriptions for anti-depressants have more than tripled since 1998 in the world’s richest countries, a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found.

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HOW IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION OFFICIALLY DIAGNOSED?
In the U.S., official guidelines say clinical depression should be diagnosed if a person has five or more depressive symptoms over a two week period, most of the day, nearly every day.

The symptoms include a depressed mood; a loss of interest or pleasure in activities; weight loss, weight gain or changes in appetite; insomnia or increased desire to sleep.

Other symptoms include restlessness or slowed behaviour; fatigue or loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt; difficulty making decisions or trouble concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

http:ww.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3024604/More-two-thirds-people-taking-antidepressants-NOT-actually-depression-Doctors-discover-not-meet-official-criteria.html


Dr, Brogan: "Perhaps they are a reflection of the 49% of requests for drugs prompted by "direct-to-consumer" (DCA) advertising by pharmaceutical companies. Fully 7 out of 10 times, doctors prescribe based on these requests made by patients who learned from advertising that they have an "imbalance" that must be fixed with a pill.

In a 10-year period from 1999 to 2008, DCA tripled from 1.3 to 4.8 billion dollars devoted to educating patients about their need for psychiatric medication. The "mass provision" of SSRIs to the public is not a reflection of their well-understood mechanism, of their efficacy, or of their safety. In fact, it flies in the face of all three."

A Psychiatrist’s Perspective on Using Drugs

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