Are Antidepressants Being Over Prescribed?

pillstobehappyStudies have shown that over the past 20 years, the use of antidepressants has grown significantly throughout the United States. Today, more than one out of every 10 Americans are taking some form of antidepressant and among women who are in their 40s and 50s, these numbers go up to one out of every four.

Experts have many different reasons for this. Some claim that there are bouts of depression among American adults because of the economy while others feel that there are television ads touting the medication as a quick fix for anything that ails. Insurance plans pay for antidepressants so most consumers feel that they are just what are needed.

Studies have shown however, that the real reason the antidepressant market is on the rise is due to a major over-diagnosis with regards to depression. A study that was published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics shows that out of 5,000 patients who were diagnosed with depression, nearly two-thirds of those patients did not meet medical criteria for a major episode of depression and actually did not need to be taking the medication at all.

“The study is not the first to find that patients frequently get “false positive” diagnoses for depression. Several earlier review studies have reported that diagnostic accuracy is low in general practice offices, in large part because serious depression is so rare in that setting”

The most misdiagnosed patients are typically those in their golden years. Nearly six of every seven patients who are over 65 years of age have been misdiagnosed with depression and given antidepressants that they actually did not need. The vast majority of all patients diagnosed with depression were prescribed some form of antidepressant and most of those patients will take the medication for many years, even though they really do not need it at all.

Studies have shown that some patients do not even respond to the medication. If the corticotrophin releasing hormone or CRH gene is missing, patients may not respond well to treatment by antidepressants. And yet many physicians are still prescribing them.

“A team at the University of California Los Angeles shows that a specific variation in the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) gene is linked to response to the antidepressants fluoxetine and desipramine”

Alternative Medicine is Being Promoted by NIHC

NIHCThe National Institute for Health Care Excellent has begun to urge physicians to use alternative methods for treating patients who are not currently suffering from severe levels of depression. There are a number of alternative methods available.

This is not a problem that is only seen in the United States. The BBC recently ran a series of news reports that show that the UK is also suffering from an overflow of antidepressant prescriptions. Many patients are not even receiving the proper treatment. They are simply being handed prescriptions for various antidepressants without finding out exactly what their medical condition is.

The UK has recently begun to urge doctors to treat patients who suffer from depression with alternative forms as well.

“First, we know that exercise can help to reduce depression in certain people who have such symptoms. Therefore one argument is to increase the availability of exercise and social recreation, which is cheaper than training more clinical psychologists”

It has become essential not only in America but in other countries as well that patients are thoroughly tested to ensure that depression exists before prescribing any sort of medication, particularly those that could have dangerous side effects.

Tips On How You Can Cope With Depression

Caring for depression can be a smart life-changing endeavor that can help make your future better. It does require some research and effort on your part if you want it to work. This can leave you wondering where to start and how to seek proper treatment.

Hobbies can help relieve stress when you are suffering from depression. You can become depressed if you don’t have many interests or activities you enjoy doing. Try a new hobby, some to consider are crocheting, pottery, dance, or maybe photography. Developing new interests can really help you with your symptoms of depression.

A long bath can be helpful if you start to feel depression symptoms coming on. Sitting in the bath while listening to soft music or reading a book can help you feel much better. Drawing the bath as hot as you can stand is also a good idea, as the heat will help your muscles relax.

Look for a support network wherever you are able. Other people, particularly those who have staved off their own depression, are particularly useful at offering advice as you combat depression.

One great way to feel better about yourself and stop feeling depressed is to start dressing well. Throw on some nice clothing, and make it a night on the town. Not for an event or a social obligation, but just to have fun and feel pretty. If you do something to make yourself feel attractive, it will really help to lessen your depression.

Sadness is a normal emotion that comes along with difficult situations, but clinical depression is usually created by a chemical imbalance. Talk to a therapist so he can diagnose what you are afflicted with!

Avoid starving yourself when you are depressed. Your appetite can diminish when you are suffering from depression. You should make sure you eat. This will help ensure you get the proper nutrition.

If you are dealing with depression, you should try to maintain a positive outlook in all situations. Staying positive will help you seize on opportunities to move past your depression when it is possible.

Having realistic expectations is vital to overcoming depression. Look at everything that matters to you in life, see what your priorities are, and if you feel like you can improve on anything, then make the necessary changes but just remember to stay real while doing it. When you build unrealistic expectations, you are more likely to fail and then feel further depression.

Being out of work can be one of the causes of depression. Losing your job, having no income and not being able to support yourself or your family is devastating. Being unable to make payments on time or the threat that this may occur can create a negative feeling that looms over you.

You can lift yourself out of depression through acceptance. You must know that a specific object, person or income level is not going to make your unhappiness disappear. If you can accept your situation, you can form realistic plans to help shape your life your way.

Alcohol should be off limits to anyone who is suffering from depression. Alcohol works to depress the nervous system, and can exacerbate symptoms of depression that already exist. To help resist the temptation to drink, remove all of the alcohol in your home. If you have a drinking problem, you should strongly consider getting help through AA.

Personal Problems

A suggestion recommended when you are dealing with depression is to repair any personal problems you may have. Whatever the origins of your depression, if you don’t deal with it, it will continue to affect you. Devote time to solving as many personal problems as possible.

You may have noticed that getting help for depression requires hard work and effort, but it is worth it. In addition, you must keep up with your treatments in order to have visible results. If you keep the tips from this article in mind, you will be that much closer to finding a treatment for your depression that works best for you.