Everytime i try and watch one of my favorite shows, I see a commercial for some sort of antidepressant. I know that Depression is more common, and economic struggles have added to our stress and anxiety. In addition, insurance plans usually cover them, even while limiting talk therapy. Over the past two decades, the use of antidepressants has skyrocketed. O They say that one in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four. I am starting to wonder if the condition is being overdiagnosed.
The question that comes to mind wonders if depression is being mis-diagnosed like a headache would. If you get a headache, you take 2 aspirin if you need help or get rest. Now if you are sad, you get diagnosed with some form of depression and given a prescription drug. to make matter worse, most people stay on the prescription drugs, which can have a variety of side effects, for at least two years. Some take them for a decade or more. I don’t think it’s not only that physicians are prescribing more, the population is demanding more.
Feelings of sadness, the stresses of daily life and relationship problems can all cause feelings of upset or sadness that may be passing and not last long. But Americans have become more and more willing to use medication to address them. Keep in mind that depressive symptoms may be a normal, transient reaction to disappointment or loss. Diagnosing depression is an inherently subjective task. You just can’t do a blood test or a lab test or do an EKG. A diagnosis is made by symptoms and history and observation.
Depression Diagnosis and Side Effects
A diagnosis of major depressive episode is appropriate if the patient has been in a depressed mood and felt no interest in activities for at least two weeks, and also has at least five symptoms that impair functioning almost every day. These include unintentional weight gain or loss, problems sleeping, agitation or slowed reactions noticed by others, fatigue and low energy, feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating and recurrent thoughts of death.
Its not just talking about somebody who’s having a bad day or got into an argument with their spouse. This is about something that is severe, meaning it’s disabling and distressing and is not transient. A common prescription error is prescribing antidepressants soon after the death of a family member. Aren’t these feelings of shock and sadness appropriate? You can’t go to a primary doctor and be accurately diagnosed within 5 minutes of the doctors visit.
We as a society have to need to seek proper medical attention such as a mental health provider. These providers still have a stigma attached to them but in this day and age, they might give the best treatment options. Doctors need to improve their diagnostic skills and must resist the temptation to take out the prescription pad and write down an antidepressant and hand it to the patient.
Have you been properly diagnosed for Depression?