DEBATE: Are Antidepressants Overprescribed in America?


In The lecture Series Understanding The Brain, Professor Janette Norden, Ph.D. explains the mechanics and chemistry behind some of the most pervasive mental disorders and diseases. In lecture 23, she discusses antidepressants, which many people feel are being overprescribed for symptoms that may not require drugs to treat. What do you think?

Take the poll, and discuss your thoughts in the comment section below.


  1. Antidepressants are the easy way out for many and for society. I believe in using some sorts of depression to learn from and to develop more empathy for others. Our addiction to happiness is weakening us.

  2. Instead of seeking the cause of the mood disturbance, individuals are bowing to drug interventions to solve their problems. Some of the major causes of depression
    are: food intolerance, endocrine imbalance, lack of physical activity, low motivation, toxic overload, microbiome imbalance, situational depression and poor dietary choices. I’m not against drug therapy if it is used appropriately, but from my clinical experience 90% of depression could be helped without resorting to pharmacological intervention.

  3. The word depression is used for so many different descriptions as to make the term there is no useful meaning.

    The term Major Depression

    I have type II bipolar. The depression that results from this is extreme. There is no alternative but to use Mood stabilizers and specific anti depressants. Therapy is helpful from the standpoint of dealing with the pervasive physical and emotional losses.

    And, unfortunately, this is considered as having a very high risk for suicide.

  4. I have lived with depression most of my adult life. With no disrespect, for those who have not struggled with deep depression, you really do not understand the need for anti-depressants, and I hope you never do get to this point of illness. I would hope that if you, or someone important in your life ever does have such an illness, that you would take advantage of the drugs which lessen the disease. With that said, the question is about over use of anti-depressants. These drugs do not change a person’s life enough to fear the drug itself. Those taking them usually find that an anti-depressant takes the edge off the anxiety, mild depression, or anger. I fought taking drugs as I was positive I could manage my life, and was a bit embarrassed by this. The early diagnosis had me taking SSRI’s that helped me so much that these enabled me to recognize that something else was going on, and I sought out real help. A few rounds of anti-depressants for the busy people, the stressed workers, the depressed or bullied teen, I see nothing wrong with prescribing these. Unless they are really ill, the anti-depressants are not meant for the rest of one’s life, but just an aide in getting over the hump of a bad patch in one’s life. Friends or therapy can definitely help with the rest.

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