That the industrial/medical/pharmaceutical industry has insidiously managed to slap, even clamp another layer on the predatory capitalist/consumerist mind control programs of American politics, education and media does not surprise me. That, now, one in four American women, some of them “celebrities”! (ooh! aah! then it must be okay!) take medication for a “mental disorder” does not surprise me.
There are not one, but two CVS’s within a quarter mile of where I live, one clue as to the sorry state of women in this culture today who not only took on the bad deal of trying to become like men, work in stutifying jobs like men, but then have to come home and do all the rest, too. No wonder they eat at McDonalds while they wipe their child’s spilled soda with one hand, pop that pill with the other and wish they had time to go to the bathroom. Who has time to savor a meal, to wander through the forest, or through an exploratory conversation? Who has time to relax, to dream, less one’s “mental disorder” turns even more disorderly? Can’t have that. Can’t have that seemingly random perturbation in the smooth, shiny veneer of civilization, that rumble from below, that call of the deep unconscious to rise up, rip off the mask and express, no matter how wild or weird or crazy-sounding, or how many talk about you behind your back.
Ommigod, keep the lid on it, whatever “it” is; you know “it” is not good; that “it” threatens to overwhelm; that only chemical numbing agents will control “it” so “it” doesn’t come back, roaring, into mania, depression, or just plain “What the fuck? Why am I still here on this planet?”
Actually, it really helps to ask that question, and to keep asking it. At some point, you might throw your pills away (thus lessening the need to “make money” to pay for them or insurance to get them), leave work, at least for an afternoon, and join an Occupy parade. Get breathing again. Get that heart rate pumping like it did when you were a kid, not on a treadmill, but outside! Let’s go play outside! We. . . are. . . the . . . 99%! Yes, you are too, or you probably wouldn’t need those pills.
Join us. You might find your voice. You might start to sing and dance. You might take your rightful place as a unique blooming magnificence in the divine heart of being.
- Women more likely than men to take antipsychotic drugs, according to new report
- Most often prescribed to females over 45
- Prescriptions for psychiatric problems in all adults have risen 22% since 2001
- Usage has quadrupled among men aged between 20 and 64 over the last decade
November 17, 2011
More than one in four American women took at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression last year, according to an analysis of prescription data.
The report, by pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc, found the use of drugs for psychiatric and behavioral disorders in all adults rose 22per cent from 2001.
The medications are most often prescribed to women aged 45 and older, but their use among men and in younger adults climbed sharply.
In total, more than 20per cent of American adults were found to be on at least one drug for mental health disorders.
A number of celebrities have gone public in recent years with their battles with mental health disorders.
They include Catherin Zeta-Jones, who was treated for a form of bipolar disorder earlier this year due to the stress of coping with her husband Michael Douglas’s fight with cancer.
Model Brooke Shields admitted suffering postpartum depression after the birth of her baby in 2003, while fellow big screen icon Carrie Fisher, of Star Wars fame, told how she had turned to electroshock therapy to treat the worst symptoms of her chronic depression.
Needed help: Actress Catherin Zeta-Jones (left) was treated for bipolar disorder earlier this year, while model and movie star Brooke Shields revealed she had suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter in 2003
Ends of the spectrum: Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, 54, turned to electroshock therapy to help treat her chronic depression, while Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD when he was nine years old
In adults 20 to 44, use of antipsychotic drugs and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) more than tripled, while use of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium and Ativan rose 30per cent from a decade ago.
The statistics were taken from Medco’s database of prescriptions and is based on 2.5million patients with 24 months of continuous prescription drug insurance and eligibility.
The company said women are twice as likely as men to use anxiety treatments as 11per cent of women 45 to 65 are on an anxiety medication.
Women are also more likely than men to take antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Abilify, which treat disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
However, among men 20 to 64, use of the drugs has quadrupled over the last decade.
Dr David Muzina, a psychiatrist and national practice leader of Medco’s Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center, said: ‘There has been a significant uptick in the use of medications to treat a variety of mental health problems.
‘What is not as clear is if more people — especially women – are actually developing psychological disorders that require treatment.
‘Or (it might be) if they are more willing to seek out help and clinicians are better at diagnosing these conditions than they once were.’
Pharmaceutical companies have also sought and received approvals to market their drugs to larger groups of people.
Drugs for ADHD, which Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps was diagnosed with when he was nine, are prescribed to boys more often than girls, but adult women now take the drugs more often than men.
ADHD prescriptions to adult women grew 2.5 times from 2001. However, ADHD prescriptions for children have been declining since 2005.
That reflects a decline in prescriptions for psychiatric and behavioral drugs for children.
Medco found that prescriptions of those drugs for children have dropped since 2004, when the FDA warned they were linked to suicidal thoughts when used in people under 19.
The company said less than 1per cent of children use antipsychotics drugs, although the figure has doubled since 2001.
In the ‘diabetes belt’ states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, about 23per cent of people are on at least one psychiatric or behavioral disorder drug.
Diabetes is particularly widespread in those states and the condition is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety disorders.
The lowest rate of prescriptions was found in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where less than 15 per cent of people are using those medications.