One in 20 Americans ages 12 and older reported active depression systems according to research from 2009-2012. But this number isn’t entirely straightforward as it is a self-reported one; another number paints a broader picture of the mental illness. When looking at medical records, the afflicted statistic jumps significantly; in 2013, 10.1 percent of all doctor’s office visits included a patient with symptoms which indicated depression. (Here are the signs of depression you should make sure to watch out for.)
When dealing with neurological disorders, everything isn’t quite cut and dry. For some people, seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist is the answer, for some it’s group therapy, for others still, taking medication is the way to go (or some combination of the three). Making the decision to take medication isn’t a cut and dry one, and there are many variables and side effects to take into account. And, according to a new study from McMaster University, this decision may have just gotten a bit more complicated.
The research, recently published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, look at data from hundreds of thousands of patients for analysis. Patients who took antidepressants had a risk of death which was 33 percent higher than patients who did not take medication. Additionally, patients who took antidepressants had a 14 percent increase in risk for cardiovascular problems.
According to the New York Post, one in eight Americans regularly takes antidepressants. Marta Maslej, one of the study’s co-authors and a researcher at McMaster, spoke to the significance of the findings, via Medical Xpress.
“Our findings are important because they undermine this assumption. I think people would be much less willing to take these drugs if they were aware how little is known about their impact outside of the brain, and that what we do know points to an increased risk of death,” said Maslej.
Despite the increase in cardiovascular risks overall, patients who already had a cardiovascular disease and took antidepressants didn’t see a spike in risk, because, as researchers theorize, antidepressants have an incidental side effect of blood thinning.
For some people, antidepressants just don’t work—here’s what you should know about the efficacy of antidepressants. In light of this research, talking to your doctor about potential alternate treatment options is always available, but it can be a tough spot due to the prevalence of prescribing.
[Source: New York Post]