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Sharp Rise in US Antidepressant Use in The Last 15 Years

One American in four reported antidepressant use for over 10 years.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:August 17, 2017, 11:52 AM IST
Sharp Rise in US Antidepressant Use in The Last 15 Years
16.5 percent of white American women say they take antidepressants, almost double the number of men (9 percent). (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ diego_cervo/
The number of Americans who admit to using antidepressants rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014, says an inquiry published by the Centers for Disease Control.

In 2014, about one American over 12 out of every eight claimed they took antidepressants over the last month, which makes for a 65 percent increase in antidepressant consumption compared to the year 1999, according to figures published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among these consumers, one American in four reported antidepressant use for over 10 years.

16.5 percent of white women in the US admitted to medicating, i.e. almost twice as men (9 percent), who were wary of the side-effects on their sexuality (erection and ejaculation dysfunctions).

Between 2011 and 2014, there has been a 3.4 percent increase in antidepressants use among youths aged 12 to 19, and a 19.1 percent increase in people over 60.

The survey emphasized discrepancies among different ethnicities: only 5.6 percent of non-Hispanic black people, 5 percent of Hispanic people, and 3.3 percent of Asian people had used an antidepressant treatment in the last month.

Researchers explain this sharp increase in antidepressant use in the US by the fact that a majority of prescriptions nowadays addresses ailments other than just depression: migraine or insomnia, for instance. The increase is also blamed on social factors causing more stress, isolation, and depressive states than before.

These new figures are based on a survey of 14,034 Americans, aged 12+ years old.

In Europe, Iceland ranks highest among antidepressant users (106 tablets per day per 1,000 inhabitants; and 65 in the year 2000). Denmark is second on the list (85), then come Sweden (79), Portugal (78), the United Kingdom (71), Finland (70), Belgium (70), Spain (64), Norway (58), and Luxembourg (51), according to the OECD's 2013 Health at a Glance.

France is below OECD's average (56), and ranks ex-aequo with Germany and Slovenia with a daily dose of 50 tablets for 1,000 inhabitants.

Read the results of the inquiry on the CDC website.

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