Monday, November 02, 2009

Antidepressant use has nearly doubled in the United States in the last 10 years, according to a survey. The survey also found that people might not be getting the therapeutic help to go along with the medication. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at the study in the 60 Second Housecall.

Antidepressant use has nearly doubled in the United States over the past decade while the use of psychotherapy by those prescribed the medication has declined.

The results were based on a survey of 19,000 people in 1996 and more than 28,000 who were looked at a decade later.

The rate of antidepressant treatment increased from 6 percent to 10 percent, or from 13 million people to about 27 million.

The study also found that fewer people on antidepressants also took part in psychotherapy. Although 32 percent of those surveyed on antidepressants 10 years ago also did psychotherapy, just 20 percent of those surveyed took antidepressants and participated in psychotherapy a decade later.

A number of factors explain the increasing use of antidepressants, including a greater acceptance of the medications, a rise in the rate of depression and new antidepressants have been introduced.

Researchers say the risk in the current trend is that people will get antidepressant medications but not the surrounding attention and care that may be needed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.