Depression meds - the most prescribed drugs in the US

I think Sam nailed it on the head. But I do have to agree with al3 that depression and other mental illnesses are still looked upon with scorn in our society. Just look at the limited benefits for mental health in insurance policies. Also, mentioning that one was ever treated by a psychiatrist can leave a black mark on you when applying for a job, etc. Do you think that having George W. in the White House may have something to do with the widespread depression? (I just had to get that one in!)

Back to the issue of anti depressants: Do you think that if counseling was more readily available doctors would prescribe it instead of anti-depressants?
Maybe I wasn't clear. I did not state nor insinuate that no one should be on depression medication - but for it to be the most prescribed medication in America is humiliating.

There are people who eat correctly and work out yet still have high cholesterol. Medication helps them and could be a life saver. Then there are people who graze like cows at the Sizzler buffet and the most exercise they get is pushing the remote. They are also on meds but are abusing themselves and the system.
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Back to the issue of anti depressants: Do you think that if counseling was more readily available doctors would prescribe it instead of anti-depressants?

I think it would have a slight impact on people, but nothing significant. There are avenues that people can take to get counseling who are low income. I look at seeking counseling similar to buying books in a given professional. It is wise to spend money to become educated and I'm all for "self-help" books, seminars, audio, etc.

However, it should be up to the individual on whether or not they decide to spend money on therapy and not rely on insurance companies to pay for everything, excluding severe mental health issues (Schizophrenia, bi-polar, ODD, etc.).

It would be nice if mental health had better coverage in the individual market, but that isn't a reality. Here is my approach to dealing with mental health issues.

1) Obtain a physical to ensure that the issue isn't physiological.
2) Visit a trained therapist/counselor to determine it the issue is psychological.
3) Obtain medication and/or counseling as needed to rectify the issue.
4) Buy books pertinent to the issue at hand (e.g., marital issues, lack of motivation, etc.)
5) Find local support groups and visit them.
6) Talk with other people who have gone through something similar or are currently going through an issue either themselves or with a family member.

People these days seem to want to skip all the steps and get drugs, and that is great because there is more money in monitoring vs. finding a magical cure. The biggest step anybody can take is to walk into a therapist's office and say "I need and want help and would like to set up an appt. please."
I have met few therapist that are worth a nickel. My opinion is they are interested in getting you to keep coming back, endless annuity. Antidepressants are valuable tools in some cases. However, there are so many people using them, my pharmacist told me the most prescribed drug for his shop was lortab pain meds.
Fishing is a good anti depressant. So is making sales. A good depressant is sitting home all week not attempting to work. I believe there are other ways to take care of depression rather than prescription meds. I have heard of some people using herbs to take care of depression. It actually worked for one of my family members.
The healthiest clients I have are the ones who take the fewest pills.

Sure, some people need anti-depressant meds, but there is a point where you have to shake you head and say "Where did all these depressed people come from?"

What gets me are the commercials. Ever wake up tired? Ever feel like you could not focus? Ever feel alone? Take this...
Maybe the drug companies should visit the victims of the tsunami who lost literally everything they had and give them depression meds. They'd seem to need it more than some spoiled American with a new SUV. How 'bout a little perspective before you start thinking about how much your life sucks.

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