2011-10-21

Depression Addendum

I realize that the depression issue I discussed yesterday lacked the proper amount of reflection.

I should have pointed out yesterday that a "400% increase in antidepressant use" is a majorly inaccurate claim. The fact of the matter is that over the past 20 years, antidepressant medications have grown from being exclusively used for the treatment of depression to being used for a wide variety of indications.

Fluoxetine, for example (otherwise known as Prozac), is used not only for depression, but also for obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, obesity, and alcohol dependence. Citalopram (otherwise known as Celexa) is known to be used in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy and migraine prevention.

The take-home message here is that antidepressant use is up because the range of health issues they can treat has been expanded as we have learned more about these medications.

This means that depression is probably even more under-treated than I suggested yesterday.