Antidepressant Use Doubles

Americans just can't get enough of their pills. A new study finds that the number of Americans on antidepressants doubled from 1996 to 2005, sending the total number of people using the medications to 27 million. Interestingly, the percentage of people seeking psychotherapy while on antidepressants dropped over the same 10-year period—80 percent of antidepressant users were prescribed their pills by doctors other than psychiatrists. The study also finds that half of the users are taking the pills for reasons beyond their intended purpose, including "back pain, nerve pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties, or other problems." A major reason for the increase is that doctors are “more comfortable prescribing antidepressants," one expert told USA Today.