I am feeling very tired and lazy today, so I’ll just repost something that I posted to Plans.  If you’ve already read it there, you can skip it here.

What do people think about antidepressants and their widespread and growing use in our society?

It seems that something like 95% of the women I know, and a good percentage of the men, are on some sort of antidepressant or equivalently psychoactive medication. It may be that I tend to hang out with depressed people, but the amount seems staggering. Since you guys tend not to take anecdotal evidence into account, I’ll say that Wikipedia indicates there were nearly 150 million prescriptions for antidepressants issued in the U.S. in 2006. That’s a lot. And that’s not counting other psychoactive drugs like Ritalin and Adderall.

Let me start by saying I support the right of people to take whatever medicine they find useful, including drugs currently considered “controlled substances,” so I’m not saying we should restrict these drugs or make them illegal.

I do think, however, that their overuse (like the overuse of psychoactive controlled substances) is unhealthy and an indicator that something about the way our society is set up is dysfunctional. It makes me happy to see people I love try to go off these medications and instead attempt to overcome their depression by restructuring their life or using more traditional methods. Antidepressants are a fairly recent development and it seems like their omnipresence has gone fairly uncommented upon.

I know this can be a sensitive subject, especially since suicide can be the result (of people going on these medications, or off them), but do people agree with me that they are overused in our society?

I have never taken them, though I have been a little depressed lately (for what I consider “valid” reasons, so I *want* to be depressed). Can anyone share their experience and tell me if I am being super dense here?

Why do women seem to go on these more than men? I think it might be because men are too proud to admit when they are depressed, but could it be something else?


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