The terrifying rise of anti-depressants and why you don't need them. (Part 1/2 The Problem)
Drugs are not a magic solution, yet are over prescribed
If anti-depressants work, why do so many people have depression? Why are there more people depressed now than ever, in an era when more people around the world are medicated than at any time in history?
In America anti-depressant use rose from an average of 10.2% in 2009/10 to 13.2% in 2017/18. (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db377.htm)
In Australia, 17.7% of the adult population filled a mental health related medication in 2020/1. (https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/topic-areas/mental-health-prescriptions)
Alarmingly, the amount of children prescribed medication for ADHD in Australia, more than doubled from 2014 to 2020 and in some cases, tripled. (https://cchr.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Numbers-on-drugs-for-ADHD-2020.pdf)
Usage per country https://www.statista.com/statistics/283072/antidepressant-consumption-in-selected-countries/
(All sources are from official Government sites).
Are people suddenly far more depressed than they were just a few years ago? With technology obsession on the rise and more people isolating from others, possibly, (which tells you part of the problem) but it's clear that doctors are doling out drugs at a terrifying rate, rather than offering alternatives. Many receive kickbacks from pharmaceuticals for new 'subscribers.'
My Horror journey
Anti-depressants ruined my life. You can read about it here. Basically I have to come off very slowly now and I suffer from some permanent side effects ever since I went cold turkey not knowing what would happen. permanent tinnitus in both ears. Dizziness. Increased anxiety (ironically). Heart palpitations and more.
I'm now three years into a four year taper. My only hope is that once I'm free of it, my body can begin to recover. But it may never. I'll have to wait and see.
Sure they're a short term fix for some but it's a bit like bandaging a leg that's broken and continuing to walk on it. If you're not addressing the cause of the depression or anxiety then it's only going to resurface. I learnt this the hard way.
Many people who find themselves suddenly depressed go to the doctor, often under pressure from others, rather than addressing what the problem is. A lot of depression is situational. Short term depression from problems is normal.
The problem with anti-depressants is that they are very addictive and can lead to major problems when attempting to come off. Read my story here. They ruined my life. I just didn't know what I was in for.
Many of these drugs haven't been around long enough for the proper assessment of the negative aspects. Twenty to thirty years isn't long. And where do they go if they are experiencing problems? Back to the doctor who gave them out in the first place, often increasing the dosage.
There's just not enough research being done on the side effects, particularly long-term, mostly because pharmaceuticals companies are suppressing the information and many general practitioners are literal sales reps for these drug dispensers. I've had doctors tell me it's all in my head while I've found a couple who knew about the problems.
Fortunately, there is more talk about it now that there was just a few years ago. There's a great resource called The Withdrawal Project for those struggling like I am, to get off these awful drugs or even those contemplating how to do it.
Not all are bad. I've been on several that were easy enough to come off. They didn't do anything to help either. And not all people suffer from withdrawal but this is an avoidable problem if people knew how hard it is to come off.
I'm a member of a Facebook Group, Cymbalta Hurts Worse with 35K members, and there are other groups regarding this particular drug, Cymbalta/Duloxetine. We all have the same problems (though to varying degrees). This drug is nasty, make no mistake. More details on my original post.
This is Dose vs Occupancy rate.
It shows how a 30mg dose is not half of a 60mg. As one example.
It's the same for tapering off. Once you get to a low amount it becomes increasingly harder to get off completely.
From a 2021 Medical Review;
The relationship between dose and serotonin transporter occupancy of antidepressants—a systematic review