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Reader: Is America really this depressed?

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Most people know someone who is taking an antidepressant, and many have experience with these drugs themselves.

Are so many people actually depressed? Or are doctors recommending prescriptions prematurely to people who are not clinically depressed, but just struggling to cope with normal life events?

It is too often that doctors prescribe antidepressants to someone who is experiencing normal feelings of sadness because of common life stressors. I feel prescriptions are not always necessary in these circumstances, and that the patient would probably find more benefit from psychosocial therapies.

It is concerning that many people are using these drugs as their first and only treatment (usually recommended by their general practitioner), without the supervision of a psychiatrist or mental health professional.

I am concerned with the lack of knowledge on the efficacy and side effects of antidepressants, especially when they are being prescribed so readily.

I am not discounting the necessity of these drugs. I know that they help many people. I just wonder if America is really this depressed, or if our need for instant gratification has people reaching for a pill instead of doing the healing work that is necessary during times of difficulty.

— Autumn Daniel, Colorado Springs

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