By Chris Kilham

According to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, approximately 10 percent of Americans are taking antidepressant medications. This means that over 31 million Americans are gobbling Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Elavil, Norpramin, Luvox, Paxil, Wellbutrin and other antidepressant psychiatric drugs like M & M’s. This drug use accounts for billions of dollars in pharmaceutical sales annually (9.6 U.S. billion in 2008).

Yet according to a landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, antidepressant medications work – as well as placebos and not more. In other words, people in depression studies who are given sugar pills instead of antidepressant drugs do as well as the group who gets the drugs.

Before you ask yourself whether you should simply take a Tic Tac instead of a Paxil, there is more disheartening news about these drugs. Many Americans are taking antidepressant medications instead of changing their own behavior or life circumstances. According to Maryland medical doctor Ronald Dworkin, “Doctors are now medicating unhappiness. Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives.” If you are beating your nose with a hammer, do you stop hitting yourself, or do you continue, and take a pain pill?

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