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.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/wQZVDOh;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.