By- Dr. David Prescott
Study Shows Use of Antidepressant Medication has Increased in Past Decade: In a study released this month by, it appears that the percentage of people in America who receive antidepressant medication climbed from just under 6% (5.4%) in the mid-1990â€™s, to just over 10% in this decade. Dr. Mark Olson at Columbia University and Dr. Steven Marcus at that University of Pennsylvania report that more and more people are receiving antidepressant medication, currently more than 27 million Americans.
Number of Patients Receiving Psychotherapy for Depression may be Decreasing: In general, it is estimated that only around 1/3 of people with mental illness receive adequate treatment. For depression, while the number of people receiving antidepressant medication increased over the past decade, it may not mean that everyone is receiving the right treatment. Other findings from the same study conclude:
The percentage of people on antidepressants who also received psychotherapy decreased from 31.5% to 19.8% between the mid 1990â€™s and the midâ€™2000â€™s.
Much of the increase in use of antidepressants was for conditions other than depression. For example, antidepressant medications are often used to treat chronic pain.
From other research, we know that depression causes more people to become disabled than diseases like cardiac illness, arthritis, or asthma.
What is the Difference between Major Depression and a case of â€śThe Bluesâ€ť Major depression, or clinical depression, is more than simply feeling down for a day or two. To be diagnosed with major depression, a person must experience at least five symptoms of depression over a two week period. Some, but not all, of these symptoms include:
Persistent sad or irritable mood
Decrease in energy and motivation
Feeling hopeless or excessively guilty
Loss of appetite
Poor Memory or Concentration
Preoccupation with Death or Suicide
Lack of enjoyment in activities
What if You or Someone You Know is Reluctant to Get Help? Encouraging people to get help for depression may take time and patience. The following tips may help:
Treatment for Depression Improves your Physical and Emotional Well-Being: For some people, realizing that depression is associated with poorer physical health may encourage them to seek treatment. Benefits of treatment include more energy and better sleep.
Treatment Outcomes for Depression are Quite Good: Most studies show that the majority of people with depression improve with either medication or psychotherapy. When psychotherapy and medication are used together, about 75% of people show significant improvement within a couple of months.
Medication Isnâ€™t the Only Treatment: Most major studies show that both counseling and medications have significant benefit in treating depression. There are good options of many types available if you are struggling with depression.
Treatment isnâ€™t forever: Unlike many physical health problems, treatment for depression doesnâ€™t usually go on for the rest of your life. Many people are able to go to counseling or stay on medication for a few months, then gradually taper off.
Antidepressant Medication Use Increases â€“ but Depression Still Undertreated
By- Dr. David Prescott
Breaking News from CBS
Video: 5/21: Plaza Towers Elementary School: A look at the damage; Tornado injuries: A doctor's point of view
Workers searched through what was left of Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was demolished by the tornado in Moore, Okla. As Anna Werner reports, in many neighborhoods, there isn't much left to salvage; Also, although neighborhoods were destroyed by Monday's tornado, the community of Moore, Okla., has come together; And, around 60 people were still hospitalized Tuesday with injuries they sustained when the tornado plowed through Moore, Okla. Scott Pelley talks to Dr. David Hogan, who helped treat many of the patients who were rushed to his hospital Monday night.
L.A. County prosecutors want retrial after jurors had issued mixed verdict for ex-officials accused of corruption
Video: 5/21: Family's last-minute decision likely saved their lives; Closer look reveals extent of destruction in Moore
David and Anna Friess lost almost all of their possessions in Monday's tornado, but they could have lost more, if not for a last-minute decision; Also, a tour of neighborhoods in Moore, Okla., reveals many homes weren't just damaged by Monday's massive tornado - they were destroyed; And, one resident of Moore, Okla., lost her home to a tornado for a second time Monday.
The twister that plowed through Moore, Okla., injured more than 300 people and caused at least 24 deaths ; Also, a third-grade teacher at Plaza Tower Elementary School in Moore, Okla., did everything she could to save her students; And, Glenn Lewis, the mayor of Moore, Okla., was there in 1999 when another tornado devastated the city. He speaks to Scott Pelley about how the town will rebuild following Monday's disaster.
After nearly 24 hours of searching, fire chief said he was confident there were no more bodies or survivors in the rubble