In a study published at the Journal of Clinical Psychology, a large number of people, estimated to be more than a quarter, in the United States were taking antidepressant drugs without being diagnosed of anxiety or depression.
Consequently, these people could be suffering the drugs’ monthly cost and most likely suffer from the adverse reactions, such as sexual problems and weight gain, without benefiting from them.
The researchers interviewed a sample of 2,000 people between 2001 and 2003. They found nearly 10 percent of individuals took antidepressants during the past year, but as few as 25 percent of the total had never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or major depression.
It was likely that these people approached their doctors with symptoms which were similar to depression—difficulties in relationships, poor mood, and sleeping problems. Taking antidepressants may help with these symptoms, but experts say that psychotherapy and counseling may help too if the symptoms don’t disappear with time.
Millions of people in the United States suffer from major depression and anxiety disorders.