Look Around: 1 In 10 Americans Takes Antidepressants | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Look Around: 1 In 10 Americans Takes Antidepressants

We really are Prozac Nation now.

About 11 percent of people in the U.S. are taking antidepressants according to fresh figures out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Antidepressant use has surged almost 400 percent, when you compare the figures from the three-year period ending in 2008 to the six years ending in 1994, the year the eye-opening memoir Prozac Nation was published.

If that's not startling enough for you, consider a few more details. More than 1 in 5 women ages 40-59 are taking an antidepressant, the highest rate for any group. Overall, women and adolescent girls are 2 1/2 times more likely than men and adolescent boys to be taking one of the pills.

But wait, there's more. Nearly 4 percent of adolescents (ages 12-17) are on an antidepressant.

Antidepressants are the second most prescribed type of drug in the U.S., right behind pills for high cholesterol, according to data from IMS Health. Last year, 255 million prescriptions for antidepressants were dispensed in the U.S., a 2 percent increase from 2009.

There's a lot more data from the CDC to chew on. But to avoid an overdose, I'll just mention a couple of the other findings. Most of the people taking antidepressants — 60 percent — have done so for at least two years. And less than one-third of people taking a single antidepressant have seen a mental health professional in the past year.

Antidepressant use would probably be even higher, if there weren't worries about stigma and drug side effects, another study found recently. A common side effect of drugs like Prozac is a reduction in sexual desire and satisfaction. In a survey of more than a thousand Californians, the majority of whom had a history of depression, found nearly half said they wouldn't tell their family doctor about symptoms of depression. The No. 1 reason: 23 percent said they feared that they would be prescribed antidepressants.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

W Seeking W For Compound Word Dates

For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with "W," that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.
NPR

Candidates And Candidates-To-Be Woo New Hampshire's GOP

Republican candidates — those who've already declared and those who have yet to — gathered in New Hampshire this weekend to speak to their party. Whose messages resonated? And whose did not?
NPR

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Talk about a time warp! The iconic VW camper is getting a modern reboot. This time, it's electric.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.