Study: 69% of Patients on Antidepressants Are Not Clinically Depressed

Sixty-nine percent, or more than two-thirds of patients currently using the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications, “never met the criteria for major depressive disorder,” according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

“Many individuals who are prescribed and use antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for mental disorders. Our data indicate that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications,” according to the study.

Researchers also found that besides not having a major depressive disorder, 38 percent of patients who had been prescribed anti-depressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft) never met the criteria for “obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder” either.

However, anti-depressants were prescribed for conditions unrelated to major depressive disorder, including “female gender, Caucasian ethnicity, recent or current physical problems (e.g. loss of bladder control, hypertension, and back pain), and recent mental health facility visits were associated with antidepressant use in addition to mental disorders.”