The topic of antidepressant use, misuse and overuse is one of great interest to me as a psychologist and one I believe should be of great interest to us as a society. Antidepressants are given to children, adults, geriatric adults, those who are pregnant and those with chronic pain stemming from other medical conditions. They are a game changer in a good way for some, a nightmare of side effects for others and as the article I’m about to share with you points out, they may be very difficult to leave behind when you are ready.
The NY Times ran this article a couple of weeks ago and I think did a really good job of covering the information so I am sharing it in this post in the original form by Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff.
“Victoria Toline would hunch over the kitchen table, steady her hands and draw a bead of liquid from a vial with a small dropper. It was a delicate operation that had become a daily routine — extracting ever tinier doses of the antidepressant she had taken for three years, on and off, and was desperately trying to quit.
“Basically that’s all I have been doing — dealing with the dizziness, the confusion, the fatigue, all the symptoms of withdrawal,” said Ms. Toline, 27, of Tacoma, Wash. It took nine months to wean herself from the drug, Zoloft, by taking increasingly smaller doses.
“I couldn’t finish my college degree,” she said. “Only now am I feeling well enough to try to re-enter society and go back to work.”
Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal data by The New York Times. Some 15.5 million Americans have been taking the medications for at least five years. The rate has almost doubled since 2010, and more than tripled since 2000.
Nearly 25 million adults, like Ms. Toline, have been on antidepressants for at least two years, a 60 percent increase since 2010.