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One in 6 Americans Take Antidepressants, Other Psychiatric Drugs: Study

A new study shows that 1 in 6 Americans are taking antidepressants, the majority of them on a long-term basis, NBC News reports. People also are taking sleeping pills, anxiety drugs and anti-psychotics, with more than 84 percent having filled three or more prescriptions after two years of being on them.

As always when it comes to pharmaceuticals, there is big money to be made in prescribing mind-altering drugs, and that’s why keeping patients on them for a lifetime is the goal, beginning in childhood. (In 2014, the Denver Post reported that poor children on Medicaid, particularly foster children, are a huge target for Pharma’s psych business.)

It is well-documented that psychiatric drugs in general, and atypical antipsychotics specifically, are misused across the board, even with children as young as 18 months receiving them for “behavior” problems. But even though people on these drugs are dying in ever-increasing numbers (nearly a third of the 23,00 who died in 2013 were taking benzodiazepines), the prescriptions just keep flowing.

What’s worse is that there is very little evidence that these drugs — particularly antidepressants — work at all, and they come with serious side effects.

If you or your child is diagnosed with depression, be aware that there are many treatment options available, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). If you’re currently taking antidepressants and wish to stop, you should wean off them gradually under the care of a knowledgeable health care provider. A drug-free approach to dealing with anxiety is the Emotional Freedom Techniques, which help you reprogram your body's reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life.
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