Antidepressants are some of the most popular drugs in the United States, and their usage shows no signs of waning.
A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that from 2011 through 2014, the most recent data available, close to 13% of people 12 and older said they took an antidepressant in the last month. That number is up from 11% in 2005-2008.
The most recent numbers have increased by nearly 65% since 1999-2002, when 7.7% of Americans reported taking an antidepressant.
New Hope for Depression
Many people who took antidepressants, which are used to treat depression as well as anxiety, also reported using them longterm: 68% of people ages 12 and up said they had been taking their antidepressant for two years or more. A quarter of people who took antidepressants reported taking them for 10 years or more.
The study authors also found that women were about twice as likely as men to say they took antidepressants, a trend that’s been evident for a few years. (Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men.) Antidepressant use also became more common as people got older.
As the reporter reported in a recent cover story, clinical depression affects about 16 million people in the U.S. and is estimated to cost the U.S. about $210 billion a year in productivity loss and health care needs. Global revenue for antidepressants is projected to grow to nearly $17 billion by 2020.