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I Cant Live Without My Antidepressants! Tanya Huggins
I Can’t Live Without My Antidepressants! <ul><li>Is there an overpopulation of people in today’s society who depend on antidepressants to get through life? Are doctors over prescribing antidepressants to individuals with problems? What is the average statistic of individuals who are already prescribed an antidepressant? </li></ul>
“ Artificial Happiness” Dr. Ronald Dworkin <ul><li>A woman who goes to the doctor and tells him that she is not comfortable with the way her husband is handling the family finances and that she would like to start keeping the books herself but is afraid to tell her husband because she does not want to insult him. The doctor tells the woman she should try and antidepressant to feel better and prescribes her one. The woman does begin to feel better but in the midst of it all the woman’s husband led the family into financial ruin. This is a great example of antidepressants being prescribed for all of the wrong reasons. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The use of antidepressants in the last thirty years has definitely increased as well as there being more diagnosis of depression. In the 1970’s there was a low treatment rate for depression with Doctors prescribing antidepressants. From the years of 1975- 1984 there was only a twelve percent increase of antidepressant use in the United States, opposed to today. (Olfson and Klerman, 1993) </li></ul>
<ul><li>According to a government study, antidepressants have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, more than drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma and headaches. (Kotz, 2011) With that said opposing arguments see that kind of information as a good thing, many psychiatrists think it is great that Americans are feeling comfortable enough to finally ask for help with their depression issues. According to Dr. Kelly Posner, a professor at Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons, “Depression is a major public health issue. The fact that people are getting the treatment they need is encouraging.” Dr. Posner also points out that 25 percent of adults will have a major depressive episode sometime in their life, as well as 8% of adolescents. (Cohen, 2007) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Some professionals feel differently, such as Professor of Psychology, Irving Kirsch from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. He devoted his career in determining if an antidepressant is more effective than a placebo; the average finding was that the antidepressant has a two point advantage over placebo according to the Hamilton scale of measure. In Kirsch’s opinion antidepressants are nothing more that a placebo with side effects. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Although through re-analysis and re-interpretation of the Kirsch data, it was found that he fail to report change in the HAMD scores and why, with this leaving a big flaw in calculations. His reporting results were very selective and his conclusions were unjustified and over emphasized. It was found that the effectiveness of the antidepressant is always present and unrelated to the depression severity, while this was not true for placebo. (Jurgen, 2011) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Socrates once said that the medicine we take act as both a remedy and a poison, which in my opinion is saying that although it helps with illness the side effects of it and the ingredients are equally as bad as the problem it was a remedy for. Today 61% of adults use at least one drug to treat chronic health problems, a 15% increase since 2001. The bad thing about the medications we are taking is that the drug companies are the ones deciding how the research on the medication will be conducted and safety issues aren’t as important to companies after the drug has been approved. (Kotz, 2011) </li></ul>
<ul><li>With all of the arguments regarding antidepressants and other medication, what should we believe and do as a society? Are we really going through depression or just having life issues that we don’t have the tools to deal with appropriately. Is our medication use just a mask behind the worms of our low self esteem issues? It does seem to be that antidepressants have become good business and drug company ads attempt to use emotions to try and persuade people to try their pills. (Self, 2011) </li></ul>
<ul><li>In my opinion, I think we are being over prescribed medications of all kind, if we want to lose weight instead of doing the work we go to the doctor and get pill, instead of changing eating habits when we have high cholesterol we go and get a pill to lower it and instead of taking the steps to improve our minds through therapy, facing our problems and healthy living many of us go to the doctor and get that little pill to help us get through our difficult times. With that said, Americans need to slow down and take the time to heal rather than always look for that quick fix. I believe we’re such and anxious country and always stressed that it is almost impossible to handle life anymore. </li></ul>
I Can’t Live Without My Antidepressant! <ul><li>Before the 1970’s anxiety was the common term for the nature of our mental health issue, it was believed that the psychosocial stressors of family and work was the cause of the stress, nerves and tension; today it seems to be described as depression rather than anxiety. (Olfson, Klerman, 1993) In conclusion, I don’t believe antidepressants are a bad thing but do feel that they should be prescribed by a psychiatrist rather than a primary care physician and do not think that it should be on a long term basis unless suffering from severe depression issues or other diagnosed mental heath issues that require medication. </li></ul>