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One Fourth of U.S. Antidepressant Users Never Diagnosed with Depression


According to a new study, over one quarter of the people in the United States who regularly use antidepressants were never actually diagnosed with any of the symptoms the drugs are used to treat.

The stunning revelation, which came courtesy of a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, notes that millions of people could be victims of the unfortunate side-effects of these drugs without actually garnering any of the proven health benefits. Essentially, people are getting all of the bad that comes with these medicines, with none of the intended goods.

"We cannot be sure that the risks and side effects of antidepressants are worth the benefit of taking them for people who do not meet criteria for major depression," Jina Pagura, a psychologist at the University of Manitoba in Canada who worked on the study, told Reuters.

In order to come to their findings, the researchers utilized the data in the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiologic Surveys. That information contains nationally representative samples of over 20,000 American adults that were interviewed between the years of 2001 and 2003.

As per the report, nearly one in ten people told interviewers that they took antidepressants in the previous year without having any of the necessary conditions to qualify for the drugs.

The National Institute of Mental Heath cites nearly 15 million Americans as sufferers of major depression, and 40 million more as suffers of various anxiety disorders.

In 2009, sales of antidepressants ranked fourth among prescription U.S. drugs with a $9.9 billion intake.

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