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WWL: One Nation, Over-Prescribed
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Americans are flocking to antidepressants


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49:00 minutes (23.52 MB)
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Americans are flocking to antidepressants. Since 1996, use has more than doubled with more than 10 percent of the population, or 27 million patients, on the drugs. In 2005, sales of Zoloft exceeded that of Tide laundry detergent. Increasingly, Americans choose to avoid the psychiatrist’s couch in favor of a quick pill. But as cases of depression and mental illness continue to rise, many wonder — are Americans overmedicated? And do the medicines really work?

Today, Where We Live, we’ll talk to Charles Barber, author of Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating a Nation and Dr. Mark Olfson, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and lead author of a recent study citing the uptick of prescription antidepressants in the United States. We’ll talk about changing trends in the medical industry, traditional psychotherapy treatments and what all this means for patients suffering from debilitating mental illnesses.

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