By Dr. Brian McDonough
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Boy, this is depressing: according to several studies, more Americans than ever before are taking anti-depressants — roughly 27-million people. That’s three times what it was twenty years ago.
And, according to the Centers for Disease Control, one-in-ten Americans say they are depressed.
More people in the United States take anti-depressants than go to the movies every week.
The question is: are people being treated for depression because they are coming to the doctor after seeing direct-to-consumer advertising?
There is a difference here. There are people who have endogenous depression, where there is a chemical imbalance that may require medication and counseling.
But, other people have what we call reactive depression. Although some people do need medication for this, many others don’t need medication, they just need someone to talk to in counseling.
The concern is too many people are being treated with too many different medications.