Number of Americans Taking Antidepressants Doubles

One in ten Americans over the age of six is taking antidepressants. That number has doubled in just one decade from just over 13 million to 27 million, according to a study released in the Archives of General Psychiatry (August 2009). This equates to nearly 10 percent of Americans — or 27 million people — taking antidepressants in 2005, the last year for which data were available at the time the study was written. That’s about twice the number in 1996. Notably, the majority of patients taking antidepressants weren't being treated for depression. Half were taking them for back pain, nerve pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties, or other problems. Additionally, the number of patients receiving psychotherapy while taking antidepressants decreased — from 31.5 % to less than 20%. Approximately about 80% of patients being treated with antidepressants in the study were treated by doctors other than psychiatrists. (Source: DIA Daily).