Moms and Antidepressants: Are We Over Medicated?

Kim Conte

anti-depressantsDoes it seem like every woman you know is on Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, or some form or another of medications for depression? That seems to be what this anonymous poster was thinking when she posed the following question:

Am I the last woman on earth not taking antidepressants?

Here's the background to her question:

This isn't a slam on anyone who is—I know a lot of people who are helped by them. It seems, though, any time a group of women get together, if the subject comes up, it comes out that every single one of them is on Zoloft or Celexa and has a back-up stash of Xanax for the really bad days. Instead of talking about shoes, they compare side effects. Is there anyone else who isn't terminally medicated?

Many moms, including this anonymous poster, responded that depression, anxiety, and mental illness are very real problems and that medication can be very helpful to people:

I take the the medicine, not because I'm unhappy, but because there is a real chemical problem. I am on Zoloft for anxiety. When I do not take it, I feel like something bad is going to happen. I worry, can't sleep, and sometimes have panic attacks where I think I'm having a heart attack and am going to die. It is an awful way to live.

But there are a lot of moms out there, like this poster, who think we as a society are over medicated:

...I think if more women would focus on themselves, eat a well-rounded diet free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc., exercise on a regular basis, and take the proper vitamin supplements, maybe there'd be less people who need pharmaceutical medications...I know some women really need them, but I also think a lot of women could help themselves without them if they really tried but for one reason or another they just don't; they just take the meds instead.

What do you stand on the issue? Do you think antidepressants and anxiety medications are over-prescribed?

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