11% of U.S. on Antidepressants:
Less than 1/2 See a Mental Health Professional


Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2005-2008) show that 11% of Americans 12 and over take antidepressants. 60% of those have taken them 2 years or longer; 14% 10 years or more. Less than 1/3 of those taking one antidepressant and less than 1/2 of those taking multiple antidepressants have seen a mental health professional in the previous year.

Abstract → 

Related Items:
NCHS Data Brief No. 76
AOL News 


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This just proves what Alice Keys is saying about how this goes far behond what psychiatrists are doing. And how many of those people in this 11% went to their GP and begged for the pills? This epidemic goes far beyond the province of psychiatry and much of it must be laid on the doorstep of individual Americans who aren’t better informed and more discriminating enough to know better. Why do so many Americans seem to find so much comfort and solace in being “depressed?” In earlier years if you were “depressed” you kept quiet about it for fear of being stigmatized for being a weak person who couldn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Now, we go to parties and share freely about the latest antidepressant that we’re taking and we talk about it with some sense of pride. People argue with one another about which of their antidepressants is better.

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    • This mess would never have happened if psychiatry hadn’t have pioneered blaming the brain for human distress.

      You can blame GPs and the public all you like, the ultimate blame lies with psychiatry.

      11% is going to grow to 20% by 2020. It’s damn foolish.

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      • And it’s only going to get worse if they allow psychologists and other therapists to write script. And nurse practitioners are perscribing right and left.

        You are correct. If psychiatrists hadn’t been so accepting of the drugs and the broken brain crap in order to stroke their egos, we most likely wouldn’t be in the convoluted mess that we’re in. They swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker, that the drug companies threw their way. They got into bed with the drug companies.

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  2. Interested to see how ‘antidepressant’ was defined. EX: Is Sarafem (fluoxetine for PMDD) classified as antidepressant? SNRIs are indicated and used for pain. Are they coded and included in figures as antidepressants?
    Inquiring minds…

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