High Anxiety

Almost half of America's population is described as being in some way mentally ill, and nearly a quarter of its citizens have taken antidepressants. Over-medication is a direct reflection of over-diagnosis, with the psychiatric profession appearing determined to turn more and more run-of-the-mill traits, such as shyness, into treatable conditions.

CHICAGO – The United States has reached a point where almost half its population is described as being in some way mentally ill, and nearly a quarter of its citizens – 67.5 million – have taken antidepressants.

These eye-popping statistics have sparked a widespread, sometimes rancorous debate about whether people are taking far more medication than is needed for problems that may not even be mental disorders.

Studies indicate that 40% of all patients fall short of the diagnoses that doctors and psychiatrists give them, yet 200 million prescriptions are still written annually in the US to treat depression and anxiety.

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