These sentiments are echoed today, as many Americans find themselves uncertain of the future as unemployment rates remain stubbornly high and jobs hard to find.
A report released on Wednesday by Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy-benefits manager, finds that this incertitude, and the stress that accompanies it, may be one of the reasons that one in five adult Americans are taking medication “commonly used to treat a psychiatric or behavioral disorder.”
According to the report, women’s use of mental illness medication exceeds that of men, “with one-in-four on a mental health-related drug.” Dr. David Muzina, a psychiatrist and national practice leader of the Medco Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center ™, says that women’s higher reliance on mental illness drugs may be related to current economic climes: “Women…may also be bearing the emotional brunt of a decade that started with the horror of 9/11 and since has seen several wars and economic turmoil.”
The report also found that the number of children taking mental illness-related medication has risen in the past decade, “with anti-depressants being the one exception.” The decrease in child use of anti-depressants is largely credited to the Federal Drug Administration’s 2005 warning that children taking anti-depressants might be more prone to suicidal thoughts. The report says that boys are the “primary users of ADHD drugs and atypical antipsychotics.”
Another group experiencing higher mental-illness related drug use is young adults between the ages of 20 and 44. This demographic saw a 248 percent spike in the use of atypical antipsychotics, and a 30 percent increase in the use of anti-anxiety treatment.
Elderly women had the highest increase in use of antidepressants, with a 40 percent increase in numbers.
The region that experienced the highest increase was the “diabetes belt” (Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama) where 23 percent of the overall population takes mental-illness related drugs.
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