If sales for antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro, or Prozac tell us anything, it’s that depression is sweeping the nation. But a new study questions the validity of most of these sales. The study has found that the majority of individuals on antidepressants — a whopping 69% — do not even meet the criteria for clinical depression. These individuals are likely just experiencing normal sadness and hardships that most of us experience.
In addition to finding that nearly two-thirds of antidepressant-takers don’t meet criteria for depression, the researchers also note how 38% of those taking antidepressants for other psychiatric disorders do not meet the criteria. These include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobio, general anxiety, and a number of other arguably fabricated mental disorders.
The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, reads:
“Objective: Past studies have shown that many individuals who use antidepressants have no current or lifetime history of mental disorders. However, recent studies suggest that the one-time retrospective evaluation of mental disorders commonly used in such studies may substantially underestimate the true lifetime prevalence of mental disorders. We examined the prevalence of mental disorders, assessed prospectively over multiple interviews, among individuals currently using antidepressants in a community sample.
…Conclusions: Many individuals who are prescribed and use antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for mental disorders. Our data indicate that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications.”