August 5th, 2009
05:41 PM ET

More than 1 in 10 Americans on antidepressants



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The number of Americans taking antidepressants has doubled in the last decade...

A new study of 50,000 adults and children shows about 10-percent of Americans - or 27 million people - were using antidepressants in 2005; that's up from 13-million people in 1996.

The report in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows most of the people taking these drugs weren't being treated for depression. Rather - half of them were using the medication for back or nerve pain, fatigue, sleeping problems or other issues.

The study says more people are being treated with antidepressants, and they're receiving more prescriptions. But the percentage of antidepressant users seeing psychiatrists actually fell during this period. This might be because insurance companies don't cover the visits; and it's cheaper for people to just get a prescription.

Some think the increase is due to the fact that it's more socially acceptable to be diagnosed and treated for depression. Also - there are new drugs that are safer and have fewer serious side effects. And, during this time, spending on so-called direct-to-consumer antidepressant advertising increased from $32 million to $122 million during the nine years of the study.

Some are concerned about the results of this study, saying antidepressants are only moderately effective; and that getting therapy can be more effective than just taking drugs.

Also, there have been several public health warnings on these medicines, including that they increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in children and teens.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when more than one in 10 Americans is on antidepressants?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sam writes:
It means the drug companies' business models are working.

Theresa from Montana writes:
Considering what this country has been through in the last decade, I'm surprised that more of us aren't on happy pills.

Lili-Marlene from Waipahu, Hawaii writes:
As a person who has been on antidepressants and in therapy for over 20 years, I can say that the drugs have become more effective and have fewer side effects. Mixing them with therapy has proved to be a lifesaving method for me. We're talking about a person who becomes suicidal if off of the medications for three weeks.

Ike from Atlanta writes:
It goes to show the problem with health care in America: Doctors have to prescribe these drugs because they don’t want to be sued for not doing so, even if the patient does not need it. The companies are happy because they make money. Insurance covers it because they too make money. And the patient: he does not know any better. Most people on antidepressants don’t need them. It’s all a scam.

H. writes:
I've taken antidepressants off and on for over 30 years after suffering postpartum depression. I talked about my feelings to psychiatrists until we were all blue in the face, but nothing has helped except medication. I've led a normal and productive life thanks to these meds. I know these drugs are over-prescribed, but for some of us they are a life-saver.

Matthew writes:
It means that we should not allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise. Let our doctors tell us what we need, not those who are just trying to profit.

Thaddeus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin writes:
It means 10% of us are nuts. I expected the number to be higher.

Filed under: Health
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It means that we are in a depression, in every sense of the word. Only we can’t solve any of these problems with a pill. That attitude helped get us into this intractable mess.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    We raised an entire generation (or more) telling them that they can do anything they want. For most people, the reality is that you can't, and I imagine that would be depressing.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  3. Peg from NY

    Health care should cover ALOT more visits with a psychologist, etc. Pill prescriptions have become an easy out and are dangerous.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  4. Lene, IL

    It means there are alot of people being taken advantage of by their doctors and the pharmecutical companies. They are the biggest drug pushers of them all and it's legal!

    August 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Randal from Ohio

    It means that more than 6 in 10 Americans are not telling the truth. For many more than a majority, the American dream is a "never" and that is the most depressing state of affairs for a country that can boast the talent, resources, and money that this one can. My five closest friends and three members of my family are on some form of antidepressant medication. And we are not weak people. We are all educated, employed, - and depressed. Should the coverage on The Situation Room make us less so?

    August 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Amber - Austin, TX

    American's look for a quick pharmaceutical fix. Then complain about the cost.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Jayne

    Maybe it means there are a whole lot of things going on in this country that cause stress and unhappiness. People worry about their jobs, keeping their homes and paying medical bills. Education has become a luxury and things we used to take for granted like family vacations are the first cuts in the budget. That said, people have to realize that every day can't be Christmas and every life has times of great sadness. Pills shouldn't be dispensed unless they are absolutely necessary for recovery.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Jack From WV

    People spending too much time either at work or worrying about getting a job and not enough time with the one thing that’s more important than all of this, family and friends. If you have a problem and you have a friend than you have someone to talk to rather than taking a pill. Doctors are pushing pills way too much and not enough time talking about the root of the problem. Pharmaceutical companies are enjoying this more than we know. Easier to take a pill than to listen to someone, especially when the doctor doesn’t want to hear you.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: It means that 10% of the population of the United States have a treatable mental illness. It means the mental health professionals are not unemployed, yet. Depression is a serious illness that can lead to suicide if not treated correctly. The key words were: treatable and serious.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  10. Joe CE

    We live in very stressful, depressing times.

    August 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  11. Rick Medina,OH


    In recent years, we've seen a flood of media marketing by pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, it is working.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  12. Tony from Torrington

    Democrats run the House, the Senate and the White House.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  13. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Those numbers are not surprising after 8 years of the Bush administration......a very depressing time indeed. Hopefully, people will be able to put their pills aside as the new administration turns the economy around and restores our standing on the international scene.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  14. Texas Pioneer

    The pharmacutical companies are selling alot of prozac and making alot of money.
    The mental health industry now has a diagnosis for almost anything. What they now call Oppositional Defiant Disorder we used to call these kids brats. The big pharm companies can't sell brat medication but they can sell ODD medication.
    We used to call ,a jerk, a jerk . Now he has a personality disorder. Again you can't sell jerk medication but you can sell personality disorder medication.
    Maybe we should all invest in a pharmacutical company stock. We are all going to be taking something sooner or later.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  15. Billy in Las Vegas

    after 8 years of Bush-Cheney it's only 1 in 10, Jack?

    August 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  16. george

    After the last 8 years, I'm surprised the percentage isn't higher.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  17. Kevin, North Florida

    With ALL of Our Jobs being given to Outsourcers, Undocumented Immigrants, like Healthcare and OUR Taxes fixing to skyrocet , while our dreams of Success are crushed.......its a small wonder all of Middle America isn't Stoned, After all it seems the boys in D.C. sure are!

    August 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Cheryl Johns

    It means the drug companies are doing a good job advertising. The only problem with nationalized health care is that it will increase the number of people on legal drugs because they think they are sick. A commercial convinced them that they "need" the drug.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  19. john ....... marlton, nj

    It appareantly means booze and dope are politically incorrect ...

    Bewteen the kids getting something for "whatever" disorder they have, grown ups drunk, high or 'relaxed" and seniors "medicated" it seems like that whole "drug war" thing from the 1960's to the 1990's was a catastrophic failure

    August 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Jim/NC

    I suspect the reason one in 10 Americans is on antidepressants is the fact that Americans have such a high expectation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Lack of money could be part of it, but if that were the case in its entirety, why wouldn't the Hollywood types, wall street executives and other rich people exibit happiness...many die from self-medication. Many in the upper income levels of society abuse themselves and their loved ones. Divorces, motherless and fatherless homes are exibited in high income levels. I believe that the reason for use of drugs and other stimulants is the fact that people do not know God and His principles for life. Regardless of what life throws at them, the happiest people that I know are true Christians.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  21. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    NO SMALL WONDER ! And it;s only goling to get worse, especially if we don't get the affordable health care and the jobs we have been promised..
    Promises don't buy food and we ca't pay the doctor with a promissory note.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  22. jenny

    Thanks to the economic woes and job losses I am suprised that the number is that low.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  23. andyzag Lynn, MA

    It means that they are watching too much news! Switch stations folks, watch the comedy channel. Lighten up! You will never impact the current state of life in our glorious country. Vote to legalize marijuana. Things may not get better but it won't care you as much.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  24. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it means the commercials on TV are starting to have an affect. The way they described signs of depression just about everyone has a symptom. Then they are led to believe that by going to their Dr. and having him prescribe one of their magic pills, will lead to a much happier life.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I'm not surprised at all since most doctors listen to a patient and diagnose most people as bi-polar and put them on some kind of pill instead of telling them to go help someone else and besides there is a lot of money to be made by so called counselors who need help themsleves.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  26. Delia

    It means that doctors are getting a kick-back from prescriping all those antidepressants - Duh! Okay, NOW, who is in support of a change in America's healthcare?!

    Katy, TX

    August 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  27. Lynda

    It means that doctors and pharmaceutical companies are far more effective drug pushers than our local meth cookers.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  28. Bill in Michigan

    It tells me that the American people are scared. What we were taught to believe in; honesty, hard work, responsibility, the common good mean nothing today. Look out for #1, and to heck with eveyone. Just wait until 50% of the population are taking Prozac, zombie nation, here we come!

    August 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  29. Melissa

    Most people are worse off than their parents were at our age, and with the way the economy has been for a very long time, it doesn't surprise me. It means that major changes need to happen in this country that means moving farther left. First world countries that are not the USA aren't as bad.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  30. Mike in St. Paul

    It means the engines of the pharmaceautical industrial complex are churning harder and faster. Have you ever noticed how many commercials there are – especially on CNN – advertising drugs people can't even buy without a prescription?

    August 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  31. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It means that modern life has gotten so crazy that it is difficult to deal with today. It may mean that finally people are going to the doctor to get help for emotional conditions that they wouldn't have dreamed of talking to a doctor about in the past. Americans appear to be taking better emotional care of themselves.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  32. J R

    It means that good medical practice has been overrun by pharmaceutical marketing departments and the bad decision to extend permission to prescribe these powerful drugs to individuals who are not medical doctors. The fact is that everybody gets depressed and many people feel overwhelmed by depression particularly in these difficult economic times.

    Prescribing anti-depressants has become the easy fix band-aid for anyone complaining about depression. I know multiple people who take anti-depressants and are still depressed. The difference is that now they are depressed and addicted to powerful drugs, which in some cases have made their lives much worse. How much worse can your depression get than the drug you take to eliminate depression makes you want to eliminate yourself via suicide.

    Until people turn away from the idea that there is a pill for everything that ails us and move toward seeking the real root of problems and solving problem without drugs or with drugs as the last resort rather than the first option the current number of people on anti-depressants and other prescriptions that they could get better without will continue.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  33. Ed

    Some believe the pharmaceutical industry is creating the demand for these drugs. Personally, watching our representative government in action has made me depressed.

    Port Aransas, TX

    August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  34. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It is very telling, Jack. I would have expected anitdepressant usage to increase over the past decade. The timeframe of the study spans the most self-indulgent, entitlement driven decade we have ever seen. One thing that is obvious is people are never happy with what they have and in their quest to acquire more stuff to make themselves happy they are living shallower and more unfulfilled lives and losing sight of what is important.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  35. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Anyone would be on antidepressants when you have no job, may lose your home, families may break up and the future does no seem too bright. Children are also affected by situations in their household and feel they are helpless to make any change and unable to help our financially.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  36. Joey from Texas

    We are in a society where it is easier to pop a pill than to deal with the real issues. Parents would rather give their kids ritalin than spend the time needed to parent. Take Prozac instead of dealing with your problems. Doctors hand the stuff out like candy on halloween.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  37. Paul Austin, Texas

    Ah, Jack why does this not prove that many doctors are no better than Michael Jackson's doctor. In my opinion most doctors would rather just throw pills at you and get you out the door. Many doctors just want to see how many patients they can see in one day and how much they can make in a day doing so. One reform in health care we need are more doctors that care and reform will not solve that.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Conor in Chicago

    It means that the world is in such a sad state that far too many Americans simply can't handle the "in your face" injustice the world finds itself in. Wars that no one supports, corporations ruin everything and we're powerless to stop it, media that doesn't serve us, politicians that don't serve us, economic inequality, the list goes on.

    For some people it would seem a few beers on Friday isn't enough.

    August 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  39. Jason, Koloa, HI

    It means that giant pharmaceutical company brainwash- er advertising, and bribing doctors has payed off. The more people that use your drug the more money you make Jack, Duh! It's all about money Jack, donchya know, you betcha! Side effects, shmide effects, man, I got me a lear jet. Wooooooohh!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  40. Kerry Diehl

    10% huh, ....WOW!

    ...Is this before or after Obama took office and put in his first 100 days?

    August 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  41. NANCY M.- Colorado

    This is an outcome of out of control over- prescribing. People need to realize that pills don't solve everything. Drugs have some good effects and a lot of bad ones. Doctors and patients need to choose carefully what goes into our bodies and get back to some good old common sense.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  42. perry jones

    Dose the government health care program cover antidepressants

    Perry Jones Council Bluffs Iowa

    August 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  43. Rob in NC

    I believe it means that Dr.'s are too ready to prescribe medicine for anyhting, too many people do not know how to deal with everyday problems, and the get fixed quick society in which we live. Why fix a problem – diet, behavior, whatever – when you can take a pill or use some device. People don't deal with their problems anymore, they just cover them up and hide from them.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  44. Terry from North Carolina

    Go home tonight and watch a little TV you will be on your way to a medical degree, there is a pill or medication for everything that you believe is wrong with you. Or you can get further depressed and watch Doctor Drew and celebrity rehab. Or you can go to your primary care physician and tell him your depressed and he will prescribe anything you need for any amount of time you need it. When we were kids and there was something wrong with you the doctor came to the house gave you a shot in the rear end and the next day you went to school what happened ??

    August 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  45. Jack Martin

    They are just reacting to the the Bush years. They should not need pills for the next four years.
    Jack Martin
    Boynton beach FL

    August 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Mark

    Is it any wonder we are all going crazy? Life is so stressful now, that when we get home from work, all we want to do is sit on the couch, eat our ice cream while watching some lame reality show.....you know....so we can escape our own realities.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  47. Pablo in Tejas

    After 8 years of Bush and Cheney one in ten seems an incredibly small number.

    Arlington Tejas

    August 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  48. Barbara in NC

    I guess they must watch some of the 24/7 news channels.

    That would make anybody suicidal.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  49. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    What it means is that marriage, children and the lack of affordable health care are taking it's toll. Anti-depressants aren't difficult to get. I told my doctor what & how I was feeling and got a script that day.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  50. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    What does it mean? Not enough people are taking anti-depressants.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  51. David in Raleigh, NC

    With Obama's efforts at turning the United States of America into the United Socialist States of America during his first 200 days, I'm surprised that at least 5 out of 10 Americans aren't taking anti-depressants to not see how the Socialist Obama is destroying America.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  52. David Alexandria, VA

    Probably that the doctors are more willing to send the patient home with a happy pill than trying to get at the root cause of the problem. People are more willing to take said happy pills than find the time every week to seek psychiatric counselling over the long haul. Instant gratuification - without consideration for the long-term cost or implications. Maybe like taking out a second mortgage to pay you credit card bills - problem solved, for now. Problem looming, forever.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  53. jeff in hawaii


    Judging from the protests about healthcare I've seen on CNN, it means not enough Americans are on antidepressants.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  54. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    With no jobs, retirement funds tanked by the stock market, housing foreclosures, and savings depleted–that is pretty depressing. I'm surprised that the percentage isn't a lot higher–except that we can't afford the anti-depressants because we don't have health insurance.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  55. Cameron in SF, CA

    I am worried that we as a country, a society, are so afraid to let our children "feel" loss, frustration, disappointment, sacrifice, pain that we are programming them not to find the strength to move through the tough times. It can not always be unicorns and rainbows through life. This quote says it all: " What does not kills us, only makes us stronger". Well we are not forcing ourselves to be brought to the brink of personal destruction to learn from our past and therefore make better choices for our future. Also, what are the permanent health ramifications from taking these drugs for years and years? Now that is what we should really be worried about.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  56. Alex in Seattle

    It means that the money spent by the pharmacutical companies on advertising is very effective. Everybody has times when they are feeling down, but now you can take a daily pill to feel better. Even if you only feel marginally better Big Pharma has increased it's profits and bonuses. Who cares if your liver or kidneys eventually fail due to these drugs as long as this month's bottom line is big enough for a bonus?

    August 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  57. Ed - California

    It means it's time to invest in the Pharmaceutical industry along with the doctors. You can make some money on millions of unemployed Americans misfortune. I guess giving out drugs is cheaper than bringing back outsourced jobs, and having a "Buy American Made" policy. Looks liks a rosey picture for the drug companies.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  58. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    There are a lot of people that need to get a grip! As my mother in law used to say “help an old lady across the street”

    August 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  59. Dave in Saint Louis!

    It means my 401k is gone. My house is worth nothing and my stocks are worthless. You tell me if there is anything to be happy about jack? Bring on the drugs!

    August 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  60. richard a. winkler

    It means that life in the U.S. is depressing. The American people have had so much for so long it is hard to deal with any problems. The country is taken up with a bunch of spoiled, immature brats who have too much.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  61. Carl D.

    It's because we have nothing but Buffoons and Idiots running our country. I swear I have no idea where these so called qualified government officials come from, none of them have any common sense.
    Carl in Illinois

    August 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  62. Dolores Wolfe

    Of course they are...because of the dumb ads on TV exhorting people to just "ask their MD for a prescription" – & the dumb MD's who give it to them! MD's & Biochemists in France are utterly amazed that these ads are allowed.....they are NOT in France.

    D. Wolfe
    New York

    August 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  63. Cheryl in South Carolina

    It means that too many Americans have fallen for the myth that they should feel happy all the time instead of experiencing the normal range of emotions of life.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  64. Arcy S.


    It means that the pharmaceutical company's have done an excellent job in convincing the American populace that the answer to everything can be found in a psychotropic-drug, which they just-so-happen to produce.

    Why is it that no other country on the face of this earth comes even close to consuming the level of mind-altering drugs that we do? Is there something in the air and water here or are we as a nation trying to quite the cries of our souls that call on us to abandon our pursuit of material possessions an turn to God?

    Equally disturbing, Jack, is the absolutely sinister advertisements produced by these pharmaceutical companies that are directed towards our children. The dollar truly is their god!

    New York, NY

    August 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  65. dale from bristol

    that might explain how the republicans were so happy with bush all those years and why the drug companys are fighting legalization of mariuana it would cut into their profits. something isn't right if anti depressants cause you to want to commit suicide.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  66. Lisa in Shelton CT

    It means the drug companies are doing well getting people to believe their hype; it means our insurance companies would rather treat a chronic illness' symptoms forever than pay for holistic treatments that may cure them; and it means the public still hopes nirvana is in a pill.

    As a nurse I am not discounting the significance of Depression, but if Americans would eat right, exercise and accept that "everything is NOT about me, " we'd all be happier.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  67. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Too many doctors giving too many drugs to far too many people who know how to convience those dpoctors they are in need of the anti depressants. Oh, and advertising these drugs by big pharm helps.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  68. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    We are a nation addicted to the "quick fix" whatever that may be! We erroneously believe that we have to be "happy" all the time, or else ....... gee whiz....... we are scared!

    Being down, sad, etc. is part of life! I doubt that we have that many seriously depressed people, I think its about MONEY & the Drug Industry making billions!

    Get a grip America!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  69. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    I could say, they are depressed about their politics, etiher for having lost the election or still suffering from the previous administration. I could say because all of the media coverage is negative or repeated lies from Limbaugh. But, I think it is because we let pharmaceutical companies adverties their most profitable products and doctors are too lazy or too greedy to say, "no, you can't have an anti-depressant....you want to feel better, then go help your neighbor, volunteer, or visit a sick friend."

    August 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  70. Lucy

    I don't think Americans are any more or less depressed, I just think there is more awareness. However, lack of physical activity and poor dietary choices can contribute to depresssion. People are sitting at their computers all day and eating fast food instead of outdoor activities and eating their vegetables. Besides this, a lot of it may be cosmetic in terms of personality. People are just looking for the quick fix instead of figuring out what is really going on, which is just covering up a bigger problem. I personally think it's because people haven't taken a step back in awhile and really relaxed. We're all so busy trying to keep up with the pace of the modern world that we start to neglect our emotional health. I have too much to say on this issue to really make a concise and coherent comment, so I apologize for the meandering nature of this paragraph.
    Lucy, SF, CA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  71. Ralph Nelson

    It means they are poor managers of their thought processes, and foolishly think they can be fixed like a car getting repaired. They need to understand the source of depression (the environment you are living in to include your relatives and friends; and constantly allowing yourself to process unpleasant thoughts). When an unpleasant thought enters your mind, the mind does not process it for 20 seconds (brain stem to frontal lobes). You can stop that thought within that 20 seconds by replacement with a pleasant thought, exercise as your body cannot exercise and think negative thoughts at the same time, and humor. Tell yourself "I well not think about that. Go away !" After about two months you well be able to control the thoughts you process by post-hypnodic suggestion. You can also use it to "erase" nightmares like I had after Vietnam. I have used this method to control depression for 33 years, though it turned out the unlying cause was malnutrition from the war for 19 years the VA refused to treat. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  72. Carol Colitti Levine

    That Drug Companies have great marketing/advertising depts.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  73. Jim

    After what 8 years of Bush did to us, it's no surprise! The economy seems to be turning around gradually, much to the dismay and disappointment of the Republicans because they can't take any credit for it.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  74. Jay in Texas

    It means that Americans are under more stress than anyone should be under. It also means that millions of us have been pushed past the breaking point from constant anxiety over paying inflated bills for everything we buy, struggling to live on a budget where more is going out than is coming in, raising kids that people really can't afford to do, and not having enough leisure or vacation time.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  75. j/NJ

    What does it mean when more than one in 10 Americans is on antidepressants?

    It means the pharmecutical companies and the physicians, hospitals they serve, continue to maintain a profitable symbiotic relationship, one based more on manipulation and control rather than the best interest or well being of the constituencies they are supposed to treat...

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  76. Steve

    It means that the pharmaceutical industry has a very positive attitude about continued industry profits and that patients and doctors under the management of current health delivery system does not have the interest of the patient in mind what so ever. It says and means that Profit, Profit and more Profit coupled with greed is the state of the medical industry...

    Clifton, VA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  77. Gill Gamesh Pyramid Lke, NV

    To many Americans have Teenagers.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    It means that people who think they are depressed are watching too many television ad's for antidepressants.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  79. Feez (UTAH)

    It explains why my neighbor says hi somedays and other days she don't.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  80. Sherri-Illinois

    That the Pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the BANKS! Not just 1 bank, but several banks to how all the BILLIONS that have received through the years on the self-inflicted miseries of millions of Americans!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  81. Larry

    The numbers don't surprise me but I don't think it's healthy for our society.

    People need to deal with their problems instead of trying to medicate them away. You're always a better person afterwards if yuu walk through a problem instead of walking around it.

    Cincinnati, OH

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  82. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    It means that we have created families, communities and a political environment where we have not live up respectfully to all our responsibilities towards ourselves and towards one another which means people that are respectful and responsible must find it very hard having to face on a daily basis other disrespectful and irresponsible attitudes that are destroying the fabric of our society!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  83. JWC in Atlanta

    Not sure what it means, but it sure explains the idiotic traffic I get into around here. Do you suppose these drugs are why those morons are wacked out in that left lane, talking on the phone, eating a donut and texting while they block traffic for miles behind them? Any way we can make a drug that will allow the "slow traffic keep right" rule to penetrate their drug-fogged brains?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  84. David Richards

    As one of the one in ten I'm surprised the number is so low.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Denis Duffy

    Frankly, Jack, that's depressing.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  86. Will from San Jose

    Direct to consumer advertising of prescription medications has turned doctors into drug dealers. Constantly advertisements tell consumers to ask their doctor about some new wonder drug. Because somehow in just 30 seconds they magically know more about how they should be treated than a medical professional who has been through years of training and residency.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  87. Nakisha Charlotte,NC

    Jack it means that the drug companies are doing their jobs at buying off doctors. They don't want you cured, they want you drugged. If a doctor said that you don't need Paxil, you just need a good cry, that doctor would be fired on the spot. Today's commercials contain nothing but anti-deppression med ad's telling you how sad you are or how lonely you feel. If 1 out of every 10 are taking these pills, then that 1 person needs to get some friends, a makeover and some self-esteem, and they won't need drugs anymore.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  88. Kerry Florida

    It should solidify the reports that America has more drug addictions than any other country in the world and although we have more illicit drug dependence we also feel that we need to tkae a pill for everything...

    Pathetic and childlike, but you know we are the youngest country in the world..

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  89. Theresa

    Jack, the reason more people are on anti-depressants is because the Bush administration let the pharmaceutical companies run rampant and they gave so many perks to doctors that a good many of them became little more than educated licensed pushers. The FDA barely tested new drugs before allowing them to be put into the the marketplace and testing on generics was almost non-existent. I wish the media would spend more time talking about how lack of regulation is killing Americans instead of talking about Michael Jackson ad nauseum, who after all was just an addict because the medical system allowed him to be.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  90. Jamal, St. Petersburg, FL

    It tells me that Americans are more than willing to pop some "miracle pill" to solve their problems. From weight loss to energy, just like Apple's "apps" there's a "pill" for that. Instead of talking about their problems and saying a prayer or two, works for alot of us, Americans now just want to take pills, opting to numb the pain of a tumor rather than taking the thing out. Ah, today's a good day to be in the pharmaceutical business.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  91. Leslie

    What it really means is, the people of this country are given a pill or drug to mask everything instead of dealling with the real problem. We medicate ourselves for, not being able to have sex, not being able to sleep, eating too much, not being able to run fast, ADD, ADHD, RLS and depression. Who would'nt be depressed its giving me a headache. I think I will take a couple headache pills and go to bed.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  92. Bob S. Racine, WI

    There really are people who need anti depressants, however there seem to many people who'd prefer to be numb. I recently had a friends pass away, sure anti-depressants would help, but it I should have been depressant, I lost someone close, taking a pill doesn't replace a dear friend.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  93. Dee in Florida

    It means a LOT of us are getting really depressed!

    And what else can you expect in a country where the economy seems to be collapsing and a sizeable number of people are relying on Civil War chess sets and Beanie Babies for their retirement plan!

    That would depress anyone!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  94. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    It means they work, Jack. Much of the American diet (not to mention alcohol and drug addiction) messes with seratonin levels, leading to depression. If people went low-carb, they would have some improvement – although the damage is sometimes undoable without some kind of chemical intervention. Also, some anti-depressants have other uses. For example, verapamil is a good calcium channel blocker for hypertension, as well as a treatment for bipolar disorder.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  95. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, given the state of this country, I'm really surprised its not more.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  96. Tina Tx

    People do not want to cope with what is falling in around them. I would rather take a pill than to deal with. Suck it up and go on. It will get better. Why take drugs? You just get hooked on the crap and you are putting more chemicals into your body that it don't need.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  97. Annie, Atlanta

    Before drug companies, we were chewing on coca leaves, peyote, making alcoholic beverages, looking for that buzz (still are). It means humans are inherently an addictive bunch. We just figured out a way to game the system, legally.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  98. Robert Prescott


    One in 10 on antidepressants? That just about correlates to the unemployment rate, doesn't it?


    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  99. Caryn Carter

    Over 10% of the population on antidepressants is an awful number. Why? Because the pharmaceutical companies are drug pushers and insurance companies help enforce this when they decline to pay or limit pay for mental health treatment of psychosomatic diseases associated with anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD, and others. I think that general medical providers should be sending their patients to psychiatrists for mental health disorders to confirm diagnosis and get treatment, just as they would refer their patients to surgeons, gastroenterologists, hematologists, oncologists, cardiologists, or other specialties depending on suspected diagnosis; instead of just going through trials of drugs to see which one(s) work. In addition, who is to say that some lifestyle change like a healthy diet and exercise might not help?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  100. southerncousin

    Wait till they find out what Obama is really doing to us. It should go to 9 in 10.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  101. Derek

    It means too many Americans are always looking for an easy solution to their problems, and the pharmaceutical industry is happy to oblige to the tune of billions of dollars per year. And we wonder why health care costs are out of control?

    Sacramento, CA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  102. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    With Obama and the Congress running the show in this country I am
    surprised more Americans aren't popping anti-depressants!


    August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  103. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    It shows that people are increasingly unable to find the strength of character to deal with the reality of life. Sad? Take a happy pill! Tired? Take a sleepy pill! Want to wake up? Take a 5 hour energy drink! Anxious? Take a vallium! Kid being a brat? Must need a ridalin! Indulge yourself, be sure your kids understand how this works so they can do it too. Place the blame for your inability to deal with life somewhere besides on yourself, and take a drug so you don't feel bad about it. BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  104. Claire, Melbourne, FL

    Hello Jack,

    It is a very sad situation – the pharmaceutical industry reins supreme!
    After hearing or reading the side effects or the harm these pills can create in your body – you have to be really desperate to indulge.

    We are a nation of "instant gratification" all the time. That's why people are impatient with the stimulus working – they think it should be done yesterday.. No patience for waiting for it to kick in big time.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  105. Gail AL.

    If you keep up with the news each day you can't do without them. Since Obama was elected I,ve had to double mine. Spend, spend, spend, that's all they know.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  106. Linda in Arizona

    It means we are a nation of pill-popping junkies who do anything and take anything a doctor or the pharmaceutical industry tells us to. Anti-depressants are just another way to get stoned. That's why people use them for things they don't even have an effect on. What they do have an effect on is your brain. Ask the kids who went nuts at Columbine. Ask the woman who drowned her children in the tub. You say there are safer pills now with fewer side effects. I don't believe that. I think they make people even crazier than they are already. You didn't mention it, but they are also taking more anti-psychotics, which are even more dangerous drugs. Never mind. Our country is weak and sinking more into oblivion every day. And we SO deserve it.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  107. Nico

    It means that the drug companies need to work harder to get more doctors to give out their drugs. That way the patient's insurance can go up. Everybody wins except the patient's. Fix the problems of Healthcare, but please don't scrap it.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  108. Jason (Medina, Ohio)

    We as Americans are mostly over worked and under paid. We drive long distances for our meager jobs. We eat in the most unhealthy fashion. Our foods are loaded with who knows what anymore? Plus, we must consume them fast and efficiently as to not upset our "inspiring" bosses at our meager jobs. Between the stress and long hours of work and our horrible eating habits, we are a nation falling apart from within. No one is talking about what is causing so many people to feel they need these pills and how we may be able to change that. Instead, let's come up with more meds for the labor force. They're probably thinking, "let's keep them just happy enough..."

    August 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  109. Glenn in California

    Jack, it means that we have plenty to be depressed about.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  110. Kim - Blair, NE

    It means that even the most trusted doctors are in cahoots with the Pharmaceutical Companies. Every single time I visit a doctor's office, I see those nicely dressed Drug Company reps with their little blac bags moving freely in & out of the office leaving free samples. Not much different to me than on the street drug pushers who get kids hooked & keep them coming back for more.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  111. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    Since the U.S. leads the world in the use of depressants ( alcohol, pills, street drugs, etc.) it's no surprise that were taking more anti-depressants as well. Our increasing reliance on drugs to deal with our moods shows a frailty in our society that we cannot deal with our lives as they are. Rather than dealing with our issues , why not just pop a pill and we can avoid hard choices! OH, don't forget the drug companies will always make a new pill everyday for something else you never knew had before!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  112. honest John in Vermont

    It means we have alot of unhappy people and the question is why? Maybe they need to make some changes in their lives.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  113. seeksense

    It means that it is easier for the doctors to medicate you then to get you the mental support you need.
    It means that doctors are lacking ethics.
    It means that patients are looking for the easy legal fix.
    I know 2 people on anti-depressants, both are also alcoholics.
    When I asked if they told the doctor about their drinking problem both said no. Doctors hand them prescriptions without questioning their lifestyles to shut them up and move to the next patient they can actually make money treating.
    Haelth Care Reform!
    Palm Bay, FL

    August 5, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  114. Phillip, Ca

    It means I have to take one just to watch your show and another when it's over!

    August 5, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  115. Jim in Alabama

    Two kinds of lifestyles seem to lead to depression. The affluent and the very poor. The affluent American society has a tremendous appetite for drugs and the lower echilon of our society seems to rely on drugs to escape the depression of poverty and also sell drugs to climb of poverty. Having said that, drug use is prevalent in the middle class as well. It would seem that a large segment of our society has too much money and too much idle time on their hands.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  116. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    You hit the nail on the head about the tie-in with advertising. Big Pharma would just love it if we were all on some sort of drug, whether we need it or not, so we are brainwashed by commercials paid for by huge corporations that are the underlying source for the high cost of health care. It's a vicious cycle, and it is depressing.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  117. Bernie from Florida

    After 8 years of Bush-Cheney, I'm shocked the number is so low!

    August 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  118. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    It most likely means that another 25% of the country would also be taking them if they had any access to competent health care. We don't ration health care in America, we just ignore the patients until they go away or go beserk.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  119. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Easier to pop a pill than to deal with their problems and doctors are all too willing to hand them out like candy on Halloween.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  120. Dan in Tucson

    It means we have a problem. I am sure there would be many more if everyone had health insurance. Those pills are very expensive.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  121. IKE in Atlanta

    It goes to show the problem with healthcare in America. Doctors have to prescribe it 'cause they dont want to be sued for not doing so even if the patient does not need it. The companies are happy b/c they make money. Insurance covers it b/c they too make money. And the patient: he does not know any better. Most people on antidepressant dont need it. Its all a scam.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  122. Rick Medina,OH


    It means two things ... advertising can be very effective (try watching any program without a drug company promoting something,) and that psychiatrists are primarily drug pushers.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  123. Jackie in Dallas

    Clinical depression is not just feeling sad, or feeling anxiety. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain that sometimes can self-correct (with or without therapy). As a sufferer, I can tell you that even the clinically depressed can have happy moments and be capable of dealing with the real world. The problems come when those brief moments pass.

    Part of the increase in use of antidepressants has more to do with the fact that more and more conditions are being tied to depression, there is more acceptance of depression as a clinical picture not just an emotional failure, and that some of the drugs have shown promise in absolutely unrelated conditions. I didn't realize it, but my restless leg syndrome was causing sleep deprivation, which exacerbated my depression and anxiety disorder. When I started my drug regime for panic attacks, the condition went away. I started sleeping better, and some of the other imbalances were helped by THAT.

    Pharmacology isn't and shouldn't be the only answer to any problem - but denying it it's place in dealing with a clinical picture is as dumb as denying antibotics to someone with a severe infection!

    August 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  124. Jackie in Dallas

    Wow, I went back and read some of the other answers, and now I'm even more depressed! Depression is not about politics, guys - and it isn't about jobs, the economy, instant gratification, and which party is in power (but if you notice, 8 of those 10 years covered in the survey were Republican years!). It is a clinical picture, just as diabetes, heart disease, and pneumonia are. A lot of us are not popping pills for short term relief of stress (which can be contributor to depression), but because our bodies are not producing the correct chemicals in the brain. I eat healthy, exercise, and am normally a pretty happy person - but my ability to do or be those things is in great measure helped by having the correct medications.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  125. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    It means that all the adverising Pharmaceutical companies are doing on the cable news is really paying off. No negative coverage, and sky-high sales!

    August 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  126. Willow, Iowa

    It means that more people are finding out it is not a character flaw to be depressed and that there is help out there. My parent's generation thought that it was a character flaw or a weakness, and once you started treating it, you got worse and weaker. Now we are finding out that there is no shame in taking antidepressants. And more people are willing to try them to see if they help.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  127. Christine from Edmeston, New York

    It means that the pharmaceutical companies have succeeded in the same sort of advertising that makes us drink Coke and eat at McDonald's. They've gotten so obscenely wealthy by exploiting consumer weakness that they could well afford to provide all of us with comprehensive health insurance. And we're sure gonna need it, now that our bodies have been violated by unnecessary and harmful pharmaceuticals.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  128. Sarah from Mount Holly Springs, PA

    It means that doctors are prescribing them left and right. I was encouraged to go into therapy by my parents and was told on the second visit that I would have to take medication if I wanted to continue. This was after being prescribed Zoloft by my General Practitioner after one visit and refusing to take it.

    I wasn't depressed, I merely was going through a stressful time. Life is full of ups and downs, and people are becoming less hesitant to resort to medication as soon as a down strikes. I'm not invalidating clinical depression; however, I feel as though it is not as prominent among Americans as your statistics would indicate.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  129. Diane/Allentown PA

    When we are bombarded by pharmaceutical ads every night telling us to "ask your doctor for.." people will do it, especially when we're furnished with all of the symptoms. You can talk yourself into anything from depression to fibromyalgia to restless leg syndrome.

    Since when was it acceptable to tell your doctor to give you drugs?

    I think I missed something somewhere along the line.........

    August 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  130. Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    I think you are talking about pills. Why not include in your picture antidepressants that pour then we can talk about anti-depression as we will have the correct picture.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  131. Paul Pettipas, PEI Canada

    I think in general it means pharmaceutical companies are pushing their products on us to increase their bottom line and people are opting for the quick fix instead of traditional cognitive therapies, which requires more time and effort. It is a sad cycle indeed. I truly believe that socialized medicine would ease these numbers somewhat and perhaps even send them down.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  132. Tom from Philly

    Well considering the laundry list of the worlds most famous minds that had ADD/ADHD, we really should question treating it. But i digress. Physical activity and fitness do more for depression than the pills but 10% probably isnt enough. Obama is great and all but i would bet 70% of the population is in a lingering depression from bush / republican rule. .. not to mention the economy. Thats what we need economic prosac.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  133. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    It means that the real "war on drugs" should have been against Big Pharma and Madison Avenue for pushing drugs on TV and offering money to doctors to prescribe their products.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  134. Chris

    This shows how really dumb Americans are and the world looks down at us. We are supposed to put our trust in God not some pills the Pharmaceutical companies push. Our kids on Ritalin, the rich people the poor people poppin Oxycontin and Percocets like Skittles, The day that I need to take antidepressants is the day I die.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  135. Doug from Indiana

    It means the other nine are drunk!

    August 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  136. perry jones

    with the congress we have i understand
    perry jones council bluffs ia

    August 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  137. Barbara ,New Port Richey, Florida

    From what I see it means that doctors are too busy getting every patient they can in an 8 hr. office day, so the fix,,.,,., give em a pil, the hell with the problem!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  138. Geri - Mead, Ok

    It says that 1 in 10 Americans are really really unhappy, which is what depression really is all about. If they don't want to take these anti-depressents then they should examine themselves and their lives, be honest with themselves and admit what's truly bugging them, then make the necessary changes they need to make in themselves and their lives so they will put a real end to their depression. Taking pills or any drug does not heal the source of the problem pills and drugs only mask the problem to a certain degree.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    August 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  139. Tiffany from Philadelphia

    We're the richest, most powerful country and the world, but the poorest people at heart.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  140. Birddog in Mississippi

    It means that we should stop the practice of advertising script medications. General public service announcements, such as presenting a list of the symptoms of clinical depression and an indication that people should talk to their doctors if they have these symptoms is one thing, but drug advertising has turned big pharm into drug pushers & doctors into their runners.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  141. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    Our lives become so complicated and there's a piont at which you'll have to make a decision that will alter the couse of your life and whether it's peer pressure or you can't seem to deal with reality and you want help! And unfourtunately we lack community resources enough to provide us the rosouces to manage our lives, so since drugs & alcohol are so accesible everwhere' it's made easier to fall than it is to get up! Deal with your real problems and make the hard choices and you may find the freedom and hapiness that you'll never find with drugs!

    August 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  142. Bill in Sacramento, CA

    It means that a lot of people are using them to feel better and I'm not. Now I'm depressed. Where can I get some?

    August 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  143. Theresa in Bozeman, MT

    Considering what this country has been through in the last decade, I'm surprised that more of us aren't on happy pills.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  144. Nuria In Miami

    Sorry, I was sidetracked taking my Zoloft, which my current health carrier does not cover. What was the question?

    August 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  145. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Looks like Big Pharma's making some big bucks making people believe they're depressed, which is depressing.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  146. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    It means that with an economy in the crapper, unemployment rising higher and higher, the banking industry trying to recover from from their greed, people still losing their homes, retirement accounts savaged by the losses on Wall Street does anyone wonder people are popping pills? Matter of fact, pass the valium.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  147. Chuck

    Personally I would have thought that the 8 year Bush hangover would
    have had worse ramiications.
    Are you sure that it's not only 10% who aren't on antidepressants?

    August 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  148. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means that we are in denial of reality. There is no pill in a bottle that will cure depression--but it surely will increase the profits of the pharmaceutical industry-–and what is life about anyway--all about "money."

    August 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  149. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    At least 10% of us realize what a huge mistake we made last november.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  150. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Of course it will double. We are a nation of people who wants instant gratification and if we don't get it, we become depressed. We can't function without any kind of stimulus, drugs, etc. Why do you think we have so many crazies.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  151. Alice NEWYORK

    Well they banned alcohol and cigarette commercials ! So we are flooded with drug commercials on tv.If that isn't enough to make you neurotic nothing will. Pot is banned but legalized medications is ok???? Is there something going on here? The enemy is drug companies and insurance companies ! Shame shame shame!

    August 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  152. Steve

    Americans always want the easy way out! In the case of depression, we rather resort to drugs instead finding a more creative solution like a daily excercise routine and healthy diet.

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    August 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  153. Michael McDowell from Ft. Hood Texas

    Well that explains why the GOP is full of nut jobs. With almost all of their goosestepping members on anti-depressants it only highlights the fact why nothing positive ever gets done in this country!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  154. Bob

    So being depressed is a "mental illness." How very nice for big pharma.

    I wonder how long before psychiatrists declare that being too happy is a "mental illness," too - with dangerous drugs being what is required to control this "mental illness" (since it won't be curable)?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:08 pm |

    One out of ten children are diagnosed with some type of mental or behavioral disorder in this country and is treated with drugs. We treat everything with a pill.
    What ever happen to controlling bad behavior with good old fashioned parenting. Our kids are growing up on drugs for what ever syndrome we can make up just so we don't have to parent them.
    We now have one out of every ten people taking anti-depessants. Dah,what can we possibly be doing wrong?
    Pharmasuetical companies love it and promote it heavily, perpetuating the idea that a pill a day keeps the demons away and all the while making billions.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  156. JIM S

    With the way President Obama is running the country into the ground, I am surprised that more Americans are not on anti depressants. It basically means the American people are depressed for electing Barack Hussein Obama as president.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  157. jim Toronto

    It means roughly 30 million Americans are either a.) unemployed, b.) living in or on the edge of poverty, c.) chronically ill, d.) losing their savings and or homes, e.) going through a divorce or have lost a loved one. or f.) all of the above.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  158. Heather from Canada

    That is a very depressing statistic. Where did I put my pills?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  159. Karen, Nashville

    Jack, I think it means too many Americans think life should be perfect and too many doctors find it easy to "fix" problems with medications. I find it particularly frightening that our children, with their still-developing brains, are being filled with chemicals. It's great that the stigma that used to be associated with these medications has diminished, but they should be reserved for people who can genuinely benefit through their use.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  160. ingrid, new york

    it means that the stress and trouble of the times is weighing heavy on the collective...

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  161. dee

    Why is this so?

    1. Because Big Pharm has brainwashed so many Americans. 2. Because doctors choose last resort, first.
    3. Because health insurance companies don't pay enough for alternatives. 4. Because both these unethical industries give multi-millions so that politicians sell their soul. 5. Because the media doesn't hold these industries accountable. For example; pot is bad because big ole fat white boy execs. can't profit it from it–But, these meds with horrible side effects; no problem. Look at the sponsors of most major networks. Big Pharm. And, can someone please fire the casting director of the Viagra and other sex pill commercials. Those ads are creepy. If ya need a pill–perhaps you aren't in love and that's real problem. But don't worry these industries are so bizzare they are probably working on a "be in love" pill.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Bruce Marshall

    It means that they have got to the point where they think the Government should take care of all their problems and when the Government doesn't do this they don't know what to do. Now the other 9 are digging in and doing what it takes to survive. I have to go and take a pill now Jack the news isn't what I wanted to hear.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Brian in Marietta GA

    1 in 10 sounds way underreported to me, Jack. Virtually every woman I know over 30 is on this stuff. Their doctors get them on it with no exit strategy. The war on drugs is a huge joke up next to this. It is ruining peoples lives. And the ironic thing to me is that I've been seeing this close up for more than a decade now – and the people who are being treated never seem to get better! They would have been better off not taking anything and just pushing through their original depression than getting stuck on Xanax, Paxil, Valium, etc.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  164. William Courtland

    It means that the standard of living in America is in severe states of illogical decay: as people suffer from mal-nutrition and are over stressed: in today's environment: while children suffer in ever greater numbers from hypnotic anguishes, mental raptures, and severe guilt of conscience.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  165. Sylvia Rodriguez

    What do you expect? People are so depressed about everything.Our economy is so bad. Our country is going to end up like the movie "Soylent Green". Has everyone ever seen this movie with Charleston Heston.I think it was made in 1977. In the movie they mention the year being 2018.How did the writer of this movie know the future? Are we heading in that direction? Oh my God, it could happen.It gives you something to think about. See the movie!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  166. Tom Chapman Newark, DE

    It means that the mortgage, electric, cable, and phone bills don't get paid but you are still able to laugh about it as long as you can pay for the pills !!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  167. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Jack, it means that the average American was busy dealing with The Bush Wars (Iraq, economy, health care, Darth Cheney, etc.) about the best way he or she knew how.
    It also means that depressive illness is less the stigma it was in 1996. And thank God for that. I think a few more people should think about treating their mental illnesses...maybe fewer people would "go postal."

    August 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  168. John Poggendorf; Prescott, AZ

    Bluntly I'm stunned it isn't one in FIVE...if not more!

    The bush regime has sent us into the ringer, and its remaining minions are delaying, no-ing and obstructing everything in site in the hope of gaining some abiltiy to "blame" Obama for a lack of progress in 2010. Hell.....we"ll be just coming out of it after Obama's second term...if we're lucky!

    With what the repugnicans have done to us, we should either legalize pot or include it as a recommended pharmaceutical in the coming health insurance program.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  169. Jenna

    I thought it would be more like 5 in 10..

    Roseville CA

    August 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  170. Clifford Glass

    It demonstrates the need for a public health care option and a system that rewards and compensates doctors when their patients go off medication.
    America's physicians now are playing pharmalogical BINGO, with the reward being drug company junkets to the Carribean and addicted patients

    Clifford Glass
    Rego Park NY

    August 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  171. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Too many people, especially doctors think you can solve problems by taking pill....look at all those ads out there!

    August 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  172. thomas benich

    medical care 2009 is matchmaking between pharmaceuticals with their limited chemical disposition incured & an unknowing vast population of potential patients whom may willingly trust the status quo; patient / physician & pharmaceutical co. & insurance co. & hospital relationship...sometimes a potential patient should have someone one their side...alas comes the attorney. I'm already depressed

    August 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  173. Ed Green

    Amazing! The most powerful nation on earth, one of the richest and most secure, what excuse does anybody have for being depressed? I suspect that depression is a normal part of human existence but we've become so rich and so convinced that life should be a bowl of cherries that we're trying to solve our perceived problems with a bottle. The bottle used to contain liquor, now it contains antidepressants that can cause suicidal thoughts. How can anything be antidepressant when it makes the user want to do away with him/herself?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  174. Dan

    It means Pharm companies getting rich. Our Medical system is designed to treat and manage not cure. there is no profit in curing.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  175. Dan- Las Vegas

    It means pharmaceutical companies getting filthy rich. Our Medical system is designed to treat and manage, not cure. there is no profit in curing.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  176. karen

    There are a lot of rich drug companies, doctors, pharmacies and shrinks. I think Americans need to stop being a bunch of babies. Eat right, exercise and lose the chip on your shoulder. Life isn't about you. Start doing for 'others' and you'll start feeling good naturally.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  177. Kevin Washington

    Depression is a serious illness ,It can destroy your life, if you are
    not able to get the help you need.If you do not have health insurance
    this escalates the problem .Idont think that everthing can be treated
    with medication. Every American deserves to have health insurance
    even if the goverment is involed.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  178. Sam

    It means the drug companies' business models are working

    August 5, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  179. Matthew

    It means that we should not allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise. Let our doctors tell us what we need, not those who are just trying to profit.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  180. Thaddeus - Milwaukee, WI

    It means 10% of us are nuts. I expected the number to be higher.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  181. Sharon Feltman, Columbia Missouri

    It means that Big Pharma has even more $$ to fight health care reform and more Americans have less will to stand up to Big Pharma.

    Columbia, MO

    August 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  182. Nancy Smith

    One thing it shows is the ever-increasing - and in my opinion abusive - power of the parmaceutical companies in their advertising to consumers.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  183. Anne Marie from Annapolis

    It means that we need health care reform to cover mental health benefits so people can find real treatment instead of popping pills!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  184. marcy

    it means that there is clearly a variable that no one else is exploring now that mental illness has clearly become an epidemic. something, perhaps, that is altering brain chemistry. has anyone checked the food supply? it's well-known how many hormones are pumped into livestock and produce. have there been any longitudinal studies done that determine if there is a correlation between developments in hormones and technology used in food and mental development?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  185. M Qadan

    As a British doctor now working in America, I can tell you Jack it means nothing. Yes more people are being diagnosed with depression, but more importantly, antidepressants have been shown to be effective for neuropathic-type pain. Regardless of what the drug industry says or does, patients often report symptomatic improvement. Be it placebo or not, it doesn't matter, as long as chronic pain is reduced. Finally, and possibly most importantly, this trend is universal and includes Britain too, hence it means nothing that 1 in 10 Americans are on these drugs. Over-analyzed I think.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  186. J Das

    People are afraid to feel these days. No one wants to bear the weight of their own emotions. No one wants to be personally responsible for managing their own depression. Simply take a pill and feel better? Who wouldn't want a price-tag on happiness? I will tell you that I would rather suffer a lifetime of dispair than suck down perscription joy.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  187. Cheryl

    People aren't depressed, Jack, they are unhappy. Their lives do not mimic a Hollywood spectacular and they can't handle it. Only in America!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  188. Randal Coon

    Maybe it just means that we are in the middle of a depression.

    Randal, Shreveport, La

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  189. Barbara Lou Townsend

    It means the psychiatric field and the pharmaceutifacal industries are way way way out of control with greed and manipulation of human behavior being the prime motivations. No doubt there are some psychologists, psychiatrists who genuinely want to help people but the entire field is a disgrace and it does not help people.

    Clearwater, FL

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  190. Rosalie Krajci

    1 in 10 take depressants? I find that depressing!. Excuse me; I need to take my zoloft.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  191. Ken in NC

    It means that it is time for me to buy more antidepressants stocks. We are fastbecoming a nation of "PILL POPPERS" . We take a pill to put us to sleep and pill to pepe us up after we wake and pills to get us through the day and on yes for really super sex we got 4 to 36 hour pills. Take your pick depending on your age.

    I'm investing in PILL STOCKS.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  192. AJ

    It means that doctors in this country need more supervision.

    It means that hardworking husbands like me have zombies for wives.

    It means these drugs should be regulated far more than they are.

    It also means that they dont work....my wife is still as depressed as she was 4 years ago....and she admits an addiction. Although she is better and self regulating, it is almost criminal that she has these prescriptions.

    In other countries, which I have travelled extensively, treatment is largely exercise, travel, and activities...these drugs are like alcohol...non-starters

    August 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  193. Rosemary Robertson

    It means that there is hope for us. Now if we could only get the ins companies to pay for therapy then we might actually become "the best we can be".

    August 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  194. Luis

    Thank Heavens for chemicals! Antidepressants are here to stay because, if used as instructed, they actually help...this is proven. Besides, 27 million Americans, in 2009, is not that much...it is probably double that insincere "official" amount.

    Puerto Rico

    August 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  195. Gerard Canta

    I'm a spoiled brat but Zoloft did control my colitis, high-blood pressure and depression. I worry about being hooked. People get depressed in America because it's the land of plenty yet so many have so little.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  196. tal colson

    Anyone who sees a psychiatrist needs their head examined. Tal Sacramento

    August 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  197. Sam

    This is a direct result of cowboy-capitalism. Work like a pig, take a whole bunch of risk to get ahead, and your country does not even grant you a simple social protection like universal healthcare... How don't you get depressed?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  198. Adam

    It means that our health care system is broken! No wonder why Republicans don't want health care reform; they're making too much money off of Pfizer, GSK and Bristol-Myers Squib.

    North Las Vegas, Nevada

    August 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  199. Erick


    The reason more Americans are on Anti-Depressants than ever is because of our media driven culture. Television, Internet, and other Mass Media has caused our population to become a generation of Couch Potatoes. The natural cure for depression is getting out and being active. I don't want to kill CNNs ratings, but if you are reading this.. Go walk around the block a few times, then settle in and watch CNN. It will do wonders.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  200. Chris L/ Kennewick, WA

    Well Jack,
    It means that doctors are just prescribing all these drugs left a nd right to people. THEY probably dont even check if there depresed. Thats why we have all this drug crime in america. Doctors are just adding fuel to the fire. So are the pharmacuetical companies all they care about is the all mighty dollar...its every man for themselves.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  201. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    It means that big pharmaceutical companies are sending their armies of drug reps out to doctors offices to persude the doctors to pedal these drugs to unsuspecting people. Many times there are side effects and they are also expensive and most times not needed. What in the world did people do before these drugs were invented? How do people in developing countries survive without such wares? It's a bunch of nonsense. Another money making proposition at the expense of consumers.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  202. Jackie in Durham, NC

    It means that instead of addressing the thoughts, behaviors, and relationships which are upsetting them, whether with the help of a mental health care worker or through other means, Americans are increasingly (and vainly) trying to resolve complex problems with pills only. Wonder when we'll learn that if it sounds too good to be true, it is?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  203. Barbara from Ohio

    Why would anybody be surprised that we are all on antidepresants.
    In the "Good Old Day", you mother or father of sibling or friend would smack you and say, GET OVER IT. This is just another success story for the drug industry. All prescription drug advertising should be banned. If we didn't know we had it or needed it, we would all be a lot better off

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  204. joseph ricciuti

    Not surprising at all with the uptake,of depression drugs, especialy with all the stress Americans are dealing with tfrom he financial, housing and job market crisis.

    Stress is a risk factor for both physical and mental ill health and depression is a risk factor for other ailments like hypertension, asthema, diabetes, and eating and sleep disorders...so it's no wonder that the prescription drug treatment for sleep disorder or back pain are related to depression.


    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  205. Felicia

    It means two things Jack. One, more Americans need to learn how to cope with stress in natural ways such as exercising and two, doctors are making way too much money in kickbacks for prescribing these drugs.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  206. Walt in California

    Jack, it means that doctors are not paying attention. After back surgery I was still having chronic pain which led to sleeplessness. The doctor barely listened to me and prescribed antidepressants, saying they would help my mood which would make me sleep better. They did not help, but were prescribed in place of something that might have helped. It seems that doctors are afraid to prescribe painkillers and sleep aids, even if justified...

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  207. Chris

    Haven't you heard? It's the answer to all of our problems. I am beginning to wonder if politics don't play a part in doctors writing antidepressant prescriptions. Maybe it's Big Brother ensuring that no matter what happens we those medicated will be content.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  208. dean

    Jack simplly means that 9 out 10 are not on these drugs . pretty good when you think about it.


    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  209. Shenelle Miller

    If that many people is on anti – depressant medication that means only one thing , that the economy is to blame.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  210. Kathleen O'Neal

    I attended a "Left Behind After Suicide" group after my husband of 15 years killed himself. He was ON anti-depressants at the time, as were almost ALL of the people who were being mourned by their loved ones in this group. Anti-depressants are over-prescribed, prescribed by doctors who lack the knowledge in psychiatry to prescribe them, and the drug companies have pushed through drugs with altered research. It is frightening. Absolutely frightening that these drugs are on the market and being handed out like candy. The right medication, prescribed by a psychiatrist MIGHT help SOME, but I, and my fatherless children know that there is something VERY, VERY wrong with these medications. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  211. Bettie Clark

    It means that anti-depressants are being used off label. Hot flashes, for example. Women are afraid to begin or to continue to use traditional hormone replacement therapy, and are being offered anti-depressants to allay symptoms of hot flashes. It's true. I was offered the anti-depressant choice as an alternative.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  212. Steve

    It means the doctors are getting a nice payday for every person they can get dependent on these drugs.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  213. jacqueline anderson

    I lived with severe depression for over 30 years. I would not go back. No one should live with that pain. I am grateful every day for my anti depressive medicaiion. Since getting them I have earned a bachlor degree, bought a home and my children are now a joy instead of a chore. Too bad I didn't feel normal when they were small. We all missed so much.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  214. george

    it says that pharmicudical companys are evil it also to me suggest's that marijuana shoul be decrminalized. these types of medications are unatural and inherently bad for people. not to mention the side effects.

    they have a new pil every month and fail to acknowledge the fact that things we ingest eventualy get expelled back into the environment.
    pharmicudical co's fail to openly admit this and people fail to see it.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  215. Marsha from Kansas

    Since several research projects have proven that fish oil and exercise work as well as prescription drugs to relieve depression, it means doctors would rather push a pill than give the patient the unwelcome information that he or she needs to exercise. Besides fish oil cannot be patented so it is cheap. No profit to be made by the drug companies. And the patients would rather take a pill than actually help themselves by walking a mile or two a day.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  216. Lisa

    Although you quoted lots of scary statistics, you failed to stress that anti-depressants are being for "off label uses" – something you don't need a "shrink" for. Many medications can be used for a variety of reasons, not just what the FDA gives the nod for. Medications that are being used in the UK for one issue, are not OK'd in our country. And that is due to the drug companies.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  217. Susan Smith, Vancouver BC

    I don't think it means anything Jack. You can read "more troubled people" into the increase if that's what you want to imply but to me it means the people who think they might need help dealing with this world are actually trying to get it.

    I think they are honest folks. Who doesn't need help dealing with this world?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  218. Paul, Virginia

    It means its time to ban perscription drug ads on TV and in magazines.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  219. Christopher

    It means it's time to end the stranglehold that the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies and the drug pushing doctors who get vasts amount of kickbacks from the companies also if California stands up and leads the way to the end of marijuana prohibition people might lighten up a little... Thanks Jack Christopher Bridgewater Nova Scotia Canada

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  220. Connee

    The diagnosis of depression is a catch-all diagnosis so that doctor's do not have to look at the causes of these symptoms. But here is something that most do not know. All of these people are urinating this into the environment and this ends up in our drinking water. Water companies around the country do not have tests for all of these different drugs and they do not know the effects to human health. What we do know is that wildlife is being affected. Otters are giving birth to premature babies from the effects of these rivers leading to oceans of antidepressants. Will you read this on television and get this message out to the people that just have "bad days" once in awhile. Help us in wildlife rehabilitation to save our precious wildlife and what about humans...we are all ingesting this in our drinking water.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  221. Melinda

    Having a child that was incorrectly treated by doctors that were supposed to be trained in the mental health field, I am not suprised by these figures. When I first took my son for treatment he was given Abilify which we found out later would cause him to be denied insurance coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield for at least 1 year.When I took my son for ADHD testing the doctors that evaulated him quickly told me my son did not need to be on Abilify, and instead a medication for ADHD. Eight months later, I am still irritated that those that were supposed to be trained in this field were ignorant enough not only to give my son the wrong medication but also managed to keep my son from getting private insurance due to their ignorance.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  222. Jackie in Minnesota

    To me it means doctors are not prescribing the right drugs or are not searching hard enough for the REAL problem. My mom is a diabetic and was taking an antidepressant to relieve the sharp pain in her feet. She stopped taking them as she felt they affected her mind. She'll accept the pain in her feet. My daughter took antidepressants when she was 13 because she was complaining of hallucinations. Too young to diagnose with schizophrenia? She is one of the children who took antidepressants and committed suicide. Emily will be gone 5 years next month. We should have gotten this right.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  223. Jack Samuels

    The high incidence of depression is no surprise to us. For the past 18 years, my wife and I have studied the effects of MSG, including the increasing use of ingredients that contain the reactive component of MSG , but give consumers no clue to its presence. Mood changes, including depression and/or rage in some people, are common MSG reactions.

    It is the time that our government do something about this problem and forces full disclosure of MSG on processed food labels.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  224. richard a. winkler

    It means that America can be a depressing place, and many Americans are not tough enough to handle it on our own. The people in this country are spoiled and have it too easy.

    I just read Elie Wiesel's book Night, his family's horrible experience with the Nazi's during WW II. They not only had no anti-depressants, they had no food, were tortured, and most of them killed.

    We have it too easy, and still can't stand up to life.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  225. Terry

    It is very important, when we hear these statistics about the increase in use of antidepressants, and the possible abuse of these drugs, to remember and report that for some of us, with a serious condition of clinical depression, these can be life-saving medications.

    My ability today to function as a responsible adult and to accomplish any of my goals has been largely the result of being accurately diagnosed and treated for a life-long condition. The change in my life over the last 13 years has been extraordinary, and my outlook on life has done a 180 degree reversal – from chronically suicidal to thanking God for my life every day.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  226. Harry Lime

    Antidepressants have become the drug of choice for chronic pain from any cause. Doctors want to avoid using narcotics or other addictive medicines for chronic pain, and antidepressants are a good choice. There are millions of people with chronic pain.
    St. Petersburg

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  227. Sharon

    Jack, it means that the pharmaceutical companies have done a bang up job of convincing 1 in 10 people that they can't handle their lives without chemical intervention. They have also used Teen Screen to go into the schools around the country and "screen" kids for mental illness, based on a loaded questionnaire. The result is that kids are being put on drugs in grade school (and sometimes even before). This ensures a consumer for life – great for the pharmaceutical companies but putting a mental illness label on children for the rest of their lives. It also means that we don't want to take responsibility for ourselves and prefer to be chemically altered


    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  228. Kimberlee

    It means, Jack, that some of us actually survive. Therapy doesn't work for some of us, and being a functioning member of society is important.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  229. Christine from PA

    Your statistics don't represent the true picture. Many antidepressents such as tricyclics have been used for years for pain of fibromyalgia, and neuropathy, among other conditions. They have been successful in helping with pain. Another more recently released anti-depressant, Cymbalta, has been approved by the FDA for a dual purpose. It is both an anti-depressant, and a treatment for the pain of neuropathy. Some of the chemicals in the body have to do with both depression and pain. There is nothing wrong with the use of antidepressants for some of the reasons you list. We should be happy in being able to treat some of these disorders with anti-depressants, instead of insinuating that they are being misused or over prescribed. Do more research before you try to discourage their use, and draw the wrong conclusions.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  230. Bob Weil

    It just means that one aspect of the universal human condition is that however good or bad one feels – we always want to feel (even) better. So, why not try a pill?
    It's kind of like religion: if it helps – great! –
    but beware of the consequences of relying on something outside yourself.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  231. Cindy Fessman

    I was put on Zoloft 50 mg., when I was in the middle of cancer treatments. Yes, I was emotional, teary, & scared & the Zoloft helped calm me down. The BIG problem was getting off the stuff after my chemo was completed! I was dizzy for three days and then realized I could not go off Zoloft cold turkey. So I broke the tablets in half and I have been taking 25mg. a day. Now I'm afraid to stop altogether. Help!

    Cindy from Avalon

    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Anthony

    How come its perfectly legal for 1 in 10 americans to be on anti depressants that either dont help or cause people to kill themselves, yet hundreds of thousands people are in prison for simple possesion of something as harmless as marijuana, which actually DOES help treat depression?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  233. Art in WV

    Ancient Chinese wisdom says that if you give a medication to a patient for an ailment he doesn't have, it will cause him to acquire the illness. The so-called "side effects" of anti-depressants are the best evidence of this. I make it a point never to take a pharmaceutical that's heavily advertised on TV. If it is really safe, effective and appropriate to my course of treatment, my doctor should already know that. He shouldn't need to have me ask him after seeing a TV ad.

    Art in WV

    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  234. Robert Schintler

    What it means is that the Pharmaceutical lobby OWNS Washington. Drug companies make ridiculous money "peddling" these pills to whoever might fit under there broad advertising umbrella. It is odd to me that 1 of 10 are on Antidepressants and you RARELY hear about any success people have had with them. As someone who was scripted ZOLOFT for 12 months ($120/month), I have to say the drug DID NOT HELP. What DID help was talking to a professional, improving my diet and focusing on physical fitness AKA finding balance in my life-life is good these days.

    Scottsdale, AZ

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  235. Shawn from Quebec City

    Hey Jack,

    It means that big pharma stock are in the roof. It means the good docters get their trips in the islands and all their other perks. It means the politicians get ten percent of the voters dumb from the drugs. It's a win win situation for everyone, well except for the actual people.
    I bet you in the near futur it will be 2 in 10.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  236. Deanna Diaz

    My son was 18 years old and being treated for depression and put on an anti-depessant and commited suicide 7 weeks later. The docter never asked him if he had thoughts of suicide. I think therapy along with medication if needed is best. It should never be given alone it is to dangerous my so would have been 19 today.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  237. Larry

    Antidepressants are prescribed for a lot more than depression; I take and antidepressant for my diabetic neuropathy and it helps to ease the pain in my feet. With the high rate of diabetes in America I would suspect that a lot of people are taking prescribed antidepressants for diabetic neuropathy and other illnesses not directly related to depression.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  238. Irwin Berkowitz

    It is not surprising that one out of ten Americans are on antidepressants. Consider the high rate of alcoholism. Many alcoholics are depressed. Just think about the state of the world. With the state of uncertainty, the current world situation puts undo stress on even relatively healthy people.
    Many conditions such as chronic pain symptoms can be manifestations of an underlying depression.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  239. Glenn in Seattle

    Jack –

    What you said is downright frightening to me. I'm a Vietnam veteran, diagnosed in 1991 with PTSD, Chronic Depression, and Anxiety/Panic Disorder. One of the most important things I learned during inpatient treatment at the VA hospital in Seattle was that those side effects you describe (the ones that can lead to suicides in young people) are PRECISELY the proof that those antidepressants are working! In other words, if you don't have the brain chemistry disorder that constitutes Clinical Deprsssion, then you won't experience those side effects. If, however, you do suffer from the nervous jitters, etc., that means you really DO have Depression (not just feeling sad); and, if you just stick with your meds, the side effects will eventually diminish, and you'll begin to feel better. THAT is the important part, the part that doexn't get explained in "regular" media coverage. If people were told the whole truth about how Depression works, and can be treated, it would go really far in helping those who really could benefit from genuine treatment by qualified psychiatric professionals. This is not something that should be prescribed by general practioners, much less the quacks who seem to be dispensing these drugs as some kind of general panacea to anything troubling some patients.

    For some of us, the proper use of these powerful drugs have been lifesaving!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  240. Dede

    It means direct advertising works. It means insurance companies and Big Pharma have corrupted psychiatry. It means people are told that no matter what ails you, there's a pill, and that they believe it. It may even mean that our lifestyles are unsatisfying, giving rise to feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness. In any case, pharmaceutical companies are making a killing. And I do mean killing.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  241. Michael Clark, MD

    I'm a physician and have a good idea why so many Americans are on anti-depressants...or any prescribed medication. They want a pill to cure all their ills...pain, sleeplessness, overweight, lethargy, sexual dysfunction, depression, etc. Exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, good time with friends, volunteerism, quiet times, a good book are all ignored despite being low cost and easily accessible. We are a nation of pill poppers, and it will come back to haunt us when the long term effects of drugs on people and unborn babies are recognized by the general population. In this regard, we are our own worst enemy. And to my fellow physicians, I urge you to learn to say, "NO!" to your drug demanding patients when it isn't absolutely necessary.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  242. Jay Bell Las Vegas NV

    I worked in nursing on an affective disorder research unit for 17 years dealing with all kinds of mood disorders. One of the largest problems with incoming patients was a situation called poly-pharmacy. This was when GP's who had very little knowledge about psychiatric disorders prescribed psychiatric drugs for everything from hang nail to hemmoriods. The drugs interacted badly together and caused more symptoms so the GP's prescribed more drugs. The patients had to be taken off all drugs and then started on ones specifically for their individual problems. GP's stick to what you know and know your limitations.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  243. Ed Phillips

    It means we're now #1 in another category among industrialized countries. The list includes obesity, homicides, imprisonments, teen pregnancies, infant mortality, drug and alcohol addiction, illiteracy, lack of innovation, and lack of social upward mobility.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  244. Sandy

    We are the nation of people on drugs (legal and illegal). Believe this has been enabled by the infamous and ever-failing "Drug on Wars".
    Also, the companies that produce and push their legal drugs would be financially ruined if it were not for the doctor's that write the prescriptions.
    In addition, this is one of the major reasons that health reform is needed.
    But if the whining and screaming lobbyists that work against health reform get their way, we will all be on anti-depressants. Most of all it means that we have all been suckered for far too long by drug companies via commercials that promise euphoria.
    In closing, this has become the American way of life; sad, but true.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  245. Lawrence O'Donnell

    It means the drug companies will have no problem paying for the endless advertisements on T.V. Thank God for the"mute button".

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  246. Jill

    Jack. . .that's easy. . .it' means that while waiting and watching the Obama administration push this Health Careless Program through in haste, those who are not only paying for these high-cost anti-depressant drugs, but also buying into his plan, are smiling because they think they'll soon be getting these drugs for free. . !

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  247. M.L. Squier

    We take antidepressants because we: overeat, over-drink, over-stimulate ourselves with news-
    And all of those unpronounceable "legal" drugs. I'm going to start buying antidepressants...stocks! mad plato of El Paso

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  248. Henrik Sorensen

    Hi Overthere,

    I am Henrik from Denmark.

    From 6 years ago I made a big research in EU and US about happiness / depressed people.

    The most interessting from that research shows that in US people are getting depress because of money and to high expectations to life.

    You should share more !! pay more tax so everybody can have a free education like we have in Denmark and also free hospitals.

    We pay lot of tax... but money is not all... but happiness is..

    Thoughts from Denmark

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  249. Bridget Watters

    I feel people are on antidepressants because we continue to look to other people, to pills or situations to meet our needs and calm fears.

    Our compass needs to be internal and spiritual. Each one of us goes through death individually.

    We also need to understand that we are truly not in control, ever. When we can embrace that idea, we will have some semblance of peace in our life.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  250. Ann Flaherty

    It means that the real drug pushers are allowed to advertize their often addicting drugs on national TV. Anyone who has taken antidepressants for any amount of time knows that it is impossible to stop taking them, even if you follow the pharmaceutical directions for stopping. This makes me a customer for life.

    If we want to take a good chunk out of health care, why don't we make it illegal for Doctors to receive gifts from drug reps for pushing their pills. These "gifts" which consist of large screen tvs to vacations in Hawaii for selling, I mean prescribing drugs are not free. The money comes from somewhere people.


    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  251. peter

    Hi Jack,

    1 in 10 americans are taking anti-depressants ? What does it mean? It means the "american dream" is a sham. So many people are CONSUMED with america's sickeningly ridiculous notion of "wealth", fame, and fortune, etc. that they feel pathetic, useless, and left out, and they accept a pill in the hopes of feeling better. News for you jack, many medical studies suggest anti-depressants aren't really any more beneficial than a sugar pill....it means 1 in 10 americans are misled and victims of the GREED that is your medical system. Blow it up and start all over again. Your country is sick, tired, and pathetic.

    toronto, canada

    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  252. John Nelson

    People take drugs because they are easy and allow for an excuse. You justify behavior by saying you are sick and have the drug to prove it. How about trying to balance your life between mental, physical and spiritual health. Try exercise, diet and an prayer (or belief in something) each day and see if that helps. And parents, shut off full time TV for your kids and spend some time with them. Heck, try some outdoor activities and fresh air, read books and give them responsibility and praise.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  253. Cate Saxton

    What this means is the Drug Companies are doing their job! Frightening to watch restaurants, auto dealers, retail shops and even bigger corporations closing up shop all the while the Rite Aids, Walgreens and CVS's are opening 50 feet from one and other in every corner of small town America. What ever happened to healing ourselves...the good old "shot and a beer" even seems to be going by the wayside as our local pubs can barely pay the rent! I say stop taking prescription drugs and get back to methods our Grandparents used! A little back rub with lavender oilgoes a long way to making you feel better!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  254. Gail in Texas

    Jack. It means windfall profits for pharmaceutical companies!!!! Not to mention the insurance companies. You see, significant weight gain is a side effect of antidepressants. When a person is over weight, then insurance companies charge more on their premiums. The diet industry wins too, because all these millions of people are trying to the lose the extra weight that the drugs put on them when their metabolisms were messed up by the drugs.

    It's like an incestuous relationship!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  255. Joe P

    It means that advertising works, nothing more. Why drug companies are allowed to advertise directly to consumers is a mystery to me. Now we have people that have no idea going to doctors asking for medicines they may not even need. It puts doctors in an impossible situation because if they don't write the script, they'll probably lose a patient. Aren't doctors the experts? I'd trust my doctor long before I'd trust an ad that in in most cases is designed to mislead me into thinking I need a medicine.

    Massena, NY

    August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  256. Jill1020

    Only 1 in 10? I'm surprised it's not a lot higher. Maybe it should be. The country is going broke, many can't pay their medical bills, and a lot are being talked out of their precious clunkers. Sure we elected a great man to lead us, but he's only one man, no matter how therapeutic his presence is.
    I do hope there will be an update on the number of Americans on anti-psychotic meds and who takes them....any of them "birthers"?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  257. Matt

    I think might have to do with the fact that Dr.'s are using these drugs to treat other problems. For example Depression, Insomnia, and High Blood Pressure can be linked. Dr's are finding great results in the treating High Blood Pressure alone with anti-depressants.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  258. Celenia Pendygraft

    It just means that people are being treated for a really terrible physical problem-yes, it is physical.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  259. John, Fort Collins,CO

    Alcohol is a depressant we use to make us feel better about life, eventually requiring an antidepressant drug necessary to help us avoid suicide. Maybe we would all be better off if we took neither in the first place. Afterall, life itself is designed to be exciting enough to get us through.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  260. James

    So? 38 million people wear contacts. Is anyone alarmed? No, of course not. So why does anyone think that 27 million taking anti-depressants is even interesting, much less alarming? The human brain is MUCH more complex than the human eye, so a priori we'd expect there to be many more people with brain disorders than eye disorders since there are so many more things to go wrong with the brain.

    And the attitudes towards people who take these drugs are appaling. Do we tell people with 20/40 vision that they should just squint, or walk closer to that sign, that it'll be good for them, that it'll build character? No. Do we say to them that contacts should be only for the legally blind, not those with "mild" sight problems? No. Then why do so many people want to tell people struggling with some aspect of their brain to just tough it out, or insist on making a big distinction between those who are devastated by their illness compared to those who merely find it a chronic drain on their life?

    It's true, that optometry is better defined than aspects of mental health. The fact that our diagnosis tools for mental health are poor, does not imply that they are meaningless, or that there are not real problems people experience with their mental health, and less so that people are not genuinely helped by the meager pharmaceutical tools we have at hand.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  261. margie

    Antideppressants are the default snake oil remedy for every symptom doctors do not know what to make of.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  262. Patricia Trani

    My sister has supposedly had "chronic" depression for 10 years. She has taken every antidepressant out there and is getting progressively worse. The side effects of the drugs are too numerous to mention. While the drug companies line their pockets, hopeless and helpless individuals like my sister are so desperate to get well that they buy into the hype surrounding these drugs and they simply DO NOT WORK. The worst part is that the doctors we put our trust in are partners-in-crime with these greedy "drug dealers".

    August 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  263. TiM Yale New Haven, CT

    This is the result of "The Partnership for a Drug Free America" investing in the distinction between illegal drugs on the one hand and legal drugs on the other hand. The only difference between the 2 is the amount of money able to be reported to the IRS without a tax stamp. Your report didn't include the $ amount of profit reported by the same pharmacuetical companies that fund The Partnership for a Drug Free America. I have a "widget" sitting on my coffee table; it doesnt matter what it is but if u give me over 120 million dollars to promote my widget, i guarantee i can sell it. Perfectly Machiavellian!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  264. Chika Uzokwe (Greece)

    It's Simple Jack! do the calculation... over 30,000,000 Americans are depressed.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  265. Kimberlee

    It's also an issue of "Brave New World". Perhaps expecting to be happy is not actually realistic in life. A little better living through chemistry and we take our daily soma dose and the world is a better place. But I am a depressive cynic so I can't be trusted.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  266. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Maybe they know something that the rest of us don't.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  267. Gin from Millville, N.J.

    America is fast becoming a Godless nation; movies and television constantly depict immorality, crime, etc. and we bolt our doors, ignore our neighbors, and watch scary cable news and the nasty partisan commentators. No wonder we need anti-depressants – it's not Mayberry and the Beverly Hillbillies anymore

    . A few greedy TV evangelists make a mockery of spirituality by espousing the prosperity doctrine instead of finding happiness thru helping others. The God I serve asks us to not only believe, but to become servants and to love one another. Faith in God is the best anti-depressent.

    Life is brief, too bad our country is forgetting spirituality but then.....maybe we have reached a point now where we are returning to faith after decades of selfish pursuits....maybe we can wean off the happy pills....there are some good signs.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  268. Mary Lou Riley

    When I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis by my Dr. he prescribed Zoloft for me. I have no idea why. I was not depressed and never filled the pescription although he continued to prescribe at every visit..

    August 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  269. Happy to be happy

    I've taken antidepressants off and on for over 30 years after suffering post partum depression. I talked about my feelings to psychiatrists until we were all blue in the face, but nothing has helped except medication. I've led a normal productive life thanks to these meds.
    I know these drugs are overprescribed, but for some of us they are a life-saver. Perhaps we should be looking at environmental factors that make people more prone to suffer from this disease (e.g. chemicals in our air and water, etc. that may affect hormonal function).

    August 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  270. David Martin

    It means that too damn many Americans are on anti- depressants. This is partially because of the over- load of commercials for the drugs. and because of human nature to want that quick fix; never mind the work involved to overcome depression. Every society has had individuals selling that get rich quick scheme; this society is not any different with its quick fix schemes. The commercials wouldn't lie, would they? The commercials posted by the corporations say that it's the best quick fix.Never mind mentioning that if your anti- depressant isn't working schedule an appointment with a counselor. OK, most insurance companies don't cover counselors. Well, this is not only the insurance company's nation. It is ours as well. Perhaps, since so many feel that they need anti- depressants as opposed to counseling since their plan doesn't cover, we should demand it. We the people have the right, the responsibility to change the rules. Isn't that how this nation was formed to begin with?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  271. P.L. McPhail

    Not alot anymore since California is going to add millions more of dope smoking addicts to the pool. Just look at the woman in California who killed 5 children this week. I get DEPRESSED just thinking of how many bombed out of their minds people are out on the streets with me. Is there something someone can suggest for my DEPRESSION?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  272. Adam J

    I am recovering ex-antideppresant user. this is an additive drug that doctors need to let their patients know the withdrawal symptoms they will experience when the day comes that want to discontinue. I wish my doctor warned me before prescribing this drug to me so easily. I suffered a lot.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  273. Helen-West Virginia

    I am dismayed at how many of my friends and family are taking antidepressants. I feel fortunate to be seeing a physician who advises a variety of alternative therapies–yoga, exercise, dietary modifications, meditation, acupuncture and a host of alternative strategies–to patients who are suffering from mild depression, back pain, and sleeplessness. Only after these do-what-you-can-for-yourself strategies have been pursued, he'll prescribe low dosages of pharmaceuticals as needed. I believe that there are too many knee-jerk prescriptions being written for an increasingly dependent population.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  274. Gary In Lexington

    It means that patients and doctors alike have gone off the deep end. This is a problem, and it is about time those "guilty" of dispensing and taking these drugs, be held accountable. This particular issue is only the tip of the iceberg as it relates to the "illicit" drug dispensing and drug usage by doctors and patients alike. Our society pops more pills than any other society in the World per capita, and it is only getting worse. Talk about the need for health care reform, this issue is just one example of our "out of control" abuses in the health care industry regarding: bad practices, unnecessary drugs and procedures, out of control doctors and patients, etc. If we eliminated all that which is unnecessary, that would pay for the necessary drugs and procedures for the uninsured. THINK ABOUT IT!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  275. Frank Nardo

    the problem that drug compaines airing commercials makes the terrible afflection of depression as common as a common cold, and encourage doctors to prescribe meds, whats next? offer tthe meds for off counter purchase. Stop the prescription drugs commercials

    Frank, Cape Coral FL

    August 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  276. Patricia Dowd

    It means that we are bombarded with what seem like hopeless scenarios: war, terrorism, gangs, drugs, child abuse, lack of affordable health care, price of gas and oh yeah, your retirement went to the bankers, so you will be working until the day drop. Then you will lose your health insurance because you have a preexisting condition: ie: depression and diseases that are the result of working too much, paying too much and being blamed for the whole mess. When's the last time you got to take a walk instead of drive to the fast food restaurant for a meal that will hasten your demise? Hard to do when you're working 10 hrs and commuting for two. Thanks for asking.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  277. Bruce

    I thinks it's concerning the numbers 1 in 10. I was on them after having had a heart attack and found it so changed my thought process and I was in a fog all day long. I think it may help for some people but not for me.I had to learn how to deal with my thought process.
    What you think about comes about ! Think positive! It worked for me!

    August 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  278. Adam J

    it means 1 out of 10 Americans is functioning drug addict. These Anti-deppresants affect your daily thoughts – very sad and moody somedays, while happy and less worrying other days. Beleive me I was one of these.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  279. John Cameron

    What does it mean when more than one in 10 Americans is on antidepressants?

    It means that there is way too much unhappiness in this great and wealthy land, and way, way too much drug dependency. We also have a higher rate of addiction to street drugs than they have in the Netherlands, where it is more or less legal. You don't get happiness from a pill, but from living life.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  280. Anne, New Hampshire

    This is only one of many symptoms of ever-increasing numbers of people wanting instant gratification. This mentality has resulted in a lower quality of life because of the greed that contributed to the decline of our economy. But more important is the fact that more and more people want to instantly lift their spirits rather than rely on the sharpness of their senses to truly experience their feelings, work on relationships and seek out a God of their understanding.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  281. Shu Master

    My mother's doctor spends about 5 min or less with her every 2 weeks. He's not a psychiatrist, so why should he be perscribing her antidepressant medication after only sitting with her a few minutes. Then again.... she sold LSD throughout the 70's and was addicted to crystal meth for a little while in the 80's, so maybe the percentage is so high because they have been on drugs for the last 30 years any way.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  282. Allan Cole

    You'd be on happy pills too, Jack if you were a Friday away from layoff. Those of us who already lost their jobs can't afford them.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  283. Jim in TX

    No one forces you to take anti-depressants. Not even drug company ads, hard as that may be for many commenters here to believe. If anti-depressants don't work for you, or you don't want to find out, don't take them. Please don't, however, grab your pitchfork and torch and go out and try to make it hard for those who do want to take them to get them. That is, please mind your own business.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  284. Nancy

    Jack, I'm afraid that it means that the people are being controlled more than ever by the government. Antidepressants cause emotional blunting and apathy, which is exactly what the government wants so that they don't have to worry about people disagreeing with their policies. If the government gets complete control over Healthcare then more people than ever will be taking these antidepressants. This is just a drop in the bucket compared to what lies ahead.

    Nancy in Maine

    August 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  285. Tina, California

    The question isn't whether or not we have too many Americans on anti-depressants, but why?

    August 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  286. Bobbye Gordon

    exactly one month ago today, my older sister told me that I am the only person she know who is NOT on an anti-D. I am so proud that I have that designation. Over medicated and wanting to be all blissed out – Americans are so unrealistic. Face the music, it's not all that bad.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  287. Allen D

    The wide use of anti-depressants should not be a surprise. Workers are being stressed like never before, blackberry's keep us connected to work 24/7, and the fanatics from the left and right wings keep telling everyone that we are all doomed. No wonder we are all going crazy. If this keeps up, maybe I will need some too.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  288. A.J.

    I remember when my mother was in straight jackets and had shock treatments in the 50s and 60s.. THANK GOD for pills and modern treatments. No, depression and mental illness is a serious disease and people need treatment. If you haven't been there...don't judge.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  289. mike

    Well with unemployment rates, the economy, and the health care system in turmoil its a no brainier as to way Americans have a greater need pills.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  290. Mavis Malone

    Jack, It is no surprise at the number of persons using antidepressants has increased..I was one of the lucky ones who had a caring family doctor who in 1980 saw my problem and prescribed an anti depressant and made an appointment for me with a Psychiatrist . It probably saved my life. I had attempted suicide twice. Medication and counseling began to change my life. I am bi-polar and without my medication and counselor I would be in serious troule.
    In my experience in the last 29 years I've seen many people who would benefit from the kind of treatment I received. Mental health care has come a long way but the stigma is still great. The public needs to know that this is a medical condition is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the brain and can be treated with medication similar to diabetes or thyroid.imbalances.
    We must do more to change the public attitude.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  291. Sara in Ottawa, Ontario

    Jack, I think that when 1 in 10 Americans are taking anti-depressants, it could be a result of so many factors it is impossible to pinpoint just one.
    As an individual who is affected by depression and anxiety disorder, I know first hand the real benefits anti-depressant medication and I also know that they are not the only form of treatment necessary for managing depression and they should not be used as a "quick fix".
    I think that the more people who are seeking help for depression, the better. Seeking help is difficult to do when you suffer from depression. However I also feel that people need to be more educated about this condition and they need to explore additional methods of treatment.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm |