A national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released in October 2011 found that antidepressants were the third most-common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages during the study years of 2005 – 2008.
When that period is compared with antidepressant use in 1988 – 1994, the rate of use in the United States has increased almost 400 percent.
SSRIs ( Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) have the power to markedly improve mood, outlook, and behavior in people with depression. Although often positive, these same benefits can also be a cause of concern to many people. Will taking an SSRI change you into someone else? Most depression experts would say that when antidepressants are effective, they take away the negative effects of depression that mask your real self; antidepressants can reveal someone's true personality (rather than change it) by lifting the veil of depression.
All medicines can have side effects, and depression treatments are no exception. Although generally well-tolerated, antidepressant drugs affect each person differently. Understanding the reality behind SSRI myths can help you know what to expect, if you're prescribed these medicines.
Site showing Stories of people who commit crimes under the influence of SSRI's
From Web MD on SSRI's
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- citalopram (Celexa)
- escitalopram (Lexapro)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
Overuse and Misuse of AntidepressantsAside from addiction, there is another problematic issue involving antidepressants: overuse. One prominent medical professional asserts that primary-care doctors are not trained to limit the use of such drugs to cases of severe depression. Dr. Allen Frances, who was chairman of the task force for publication of the current edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, says the culture of for-profit marketing is largely to blame for today’s overuse of anti-depressant drugs.
“The massive overuse of antidepressants (and also antipsychotics) began about 15 years ago when drug companies in the U.S. were given a precious and unprecedented privilege — one that is appropriately denied them in the rest of the world,” Frances wrote for Psychology Today. “They were suddenly free to advertise directly to their potential customers on TV, in magazines, and on the Internet. The companies also aggressively built up their marketing to doctors, especially primary care physicians who were ‘educated’ into the notion that depression was being frequently missed in their practices and that it is a simple ‘chemical imbalance’ easily corrected by a pill.”Furthermore, antidepressant drugs are frequently prescribed “off-label,” as well. In other words, doctors are allowing patients to use the medicine in ways not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). In the United States, it is legal for doctors to prescribe drugs for an unapproved illness, age group, dose or form of administration. However, it is not legal for pharmaceutical companies to market their products for off-label treatments.