There is a lot of media attention about a study claiming that Americans are on too many antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. As a family doctor in the field for almost 20 years I can conclusively respond to that with, “No shit!”. In the study, 60% of patients who didn’t meet criteria for depression were prescribed meds anyway. The bigger issue, to me, is why this is happening. Here are my thoughts:
- Many doctors are lazy and just want to throw pills at people instead of listening to patients, spending time with patients or sending patients to counseling.
- There is a lot of pressure from the idiots above who place quality indicators on such diagnoses as depression. They make sure every patient is asked about it. The reason is that previous evidence showed that depression was not diagnosed or treated enough. This lead to the pressure to treat and ta-da, you have this mess. it is very similar to the pain med problem we are also having.
- Diagnosing and treating psychiatric problems is the least scientific process we have and is more of an art than science. That is why studies on these medical problems are all over the place.
- Drug companies were allowed to use direct-to-consumer advertising and so more and more commercials started to proliferate, which convinced too many of the wrong people they have depression. And those people are hard to “unconvince”.
- There are NO psychiatrists to send to for a second opinion so it falls on the family doctor’s lap.
- Patients want the medications!! They want quick help. They don’t want to get messy with counseling. I offer EVERY patient I diagnose with depression counseling first and 99% say “I just want the medication”. Patients are as much to blame for this problem as the doctors. Don’t let any media story tell you otherwise. Feeling depressed is not the same thing has having depression!
- Americans have too much stuff and think they need/deserve more and get depressed when they don’t get it. We have lost perspective in life.
- Some Americans truly have it bad. Medications do not treat SLS (Shitty Life Syndrome).
The article above that I used as a reference is an example of the wrong people trying to give their opinions about this subject. They want federal investigations. They scream about all the people getting hurt from these meds. They miss my points completely.