The Instigator
darceem
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
CarterKemmet
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Antidepressants are Over-prescribed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
darceem
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/26/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,809 times Debate No: 14153
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

darceem

Pro

Resolution: Depression and it's symptoms are over-diagnosed which results in medication intended for depression being overused, or used for "sad" feelings or minor symptoms rather than actual depression.

It is the burden of my opponent to prove that medication for depression is NOT over-prescribed, that is it is prescribed at a decent level or under-prescribed OR to prove that medication for depression is mostly used to treat actual depression and not used primarily for self-diagnosed depression, or minor symptoms and feelings.

For the purposes of this debate, facts and statistics on prescriptions for antidepressants shall be only on those prescribed to those with depression an other depressive and unipolar disorders.

Definitions
====

Depression - For the purposes of this debate, depression shall refer to the professional diagnosis.
Antidepressants - A drug used to alleviate mood disorders such as anxiety, and in this case, depression.

Good luck to any opponents who accept.
CarterKemmet

Con

I negate the resolution. Resolved:Depression and it's symptoms are over-diagnosed which results in medication intended for depression being overused, or used for "sad" feelings or minor symptoms rather than actual depression.
This means that Depression is over-diagnosed which causes overuse of medication for lesser conditions.

In todays round, to win i must prove that the current amount of diagnoses is beneficial over a lesser amount of diagnoses.

My opponent says that antidepressants are over-prescribed. This means that, according to my opponent, that the 35 million adults in the US alone, that are diagnosed with depression, fewer should receive help for their medical condition. Depression is defined as a medical illness. So people with depression should suffer through these illnesses? No. Depression has been proven to lead to suicide and other non beneficial effects to the person. Cutting off help and medical aid would be just wrong and potentialy fatal to the person. If somebody has a form of cancer, would you say they can not get an operation because too many people have cancer?

Also, my opponent has shared no statistics or evidence or proof to support their rash claim.

For these reasons, I urge a Con in todays round. Thank you.

http://www.pristiq.com...
Debate Round No. 1
darceem

Pro

Thank you for accepting this challenge.

My opponent has stated that to say antidepressants are over prescribed means allowing those with depression to suffer. However depression itself is over diagnosed, meaning many who take antidepressants are are considered "depressed" may not actually be depressed.

To illustrate this, I will prove four points:
1. Self-diagnosed depression and mistaking "sad feelings" for depression is more prevalent in the United States and England than other developed and third world countries.
2. The sale of antidepressants have shot up in the past two decades - to say antidepressants are being fairly and appropriately prescribed would mean finding some factor for the sudden increase. The primary factor is actually the increase in media hype and public advertisement of these antidepressants (as well as the romanticizing of depression in entertainment media).
3. Environmental and social causes of depression have not increased at the same rate as depression (some incidents that are considered common causes of depression have decreased).
4. There are more people taking antidepressants than there are people diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.

Point 1: Diagnosis in the United States and Europe
=====
In the United States, over 33 million people were prescribed psychiatric drugs in 1997, and the number has only risen. The most commonly prescribed drug is antidepressants. (Barber, 2008). In England, prescription of antidepressant medication was 500,000 in 1998, up more than 350,000 over the course of seven years. In the United States, over the course of 7 years (from 1995 to 2002) prescription of antidepressants rose 48 percent (Cohen, 2007). These numbers are and sharp increases are shocking enough, especially when compared to other countries, including developed countries where causes of depression are much more prevalent (see Point 3).

Studies have documented that 26 percent of people in the United States have said they have felt symptoms of depression at some point in their lives (official diagnosis is about 6%). In contrast, only 6-9 percent of people in other European countries such as Germany and Italy report this, and only 12 percent in neighboring Mexico. Depression is far more self-diagnose in America and England than other countries, which in turn can lead to someone seeking anti-depressants from a psychiatrist, which as I will show in the next point, is an increasing danger as antidepressants and mental disorders become more generalized and romanticized.

Point 2: Antidepressants and the Media
====
As the increase in the prescription and sale of antidepressants has risen, a notable trend has followed in Hollywood and media, as people become not only more accepting but almost excited about the idea of having a mental disorder. What was once taboo, now people in Hollywood freely admit or even boast, and it becomes big news to find out another star is taking Prozac. More movies are now made about mental dysfunction than ever before and depression is a very common one.

Also over the last few decades, to match the rise in sales, more distributors of antidepressants have begun advertising publicly. It's difficult to watch TV for more than twenty minutes without seeing one of their ads which are directed not necessarily at people with depression but simply people who may feel "sad". (Barber, 2008)

Point 3: No Correlation in Environmental Factors
====
While the amount of advertising for antidepressants has increased, the rate of common causes of depression has not. In the United States, child neglect has remained stable and abuse has fallen dramatically over the past 20 years so there is no account for the increase in teenagers and the increase in prescriptions due to child abuse [1]. Financial problems have increased, though not at the same rate the sale of antidepressants have (the sale of antidepressants began spiking around 1993, whereas the recession did not begin until around 2003). Other social interferences such as divorce have also fallen [2].

Point 4: No Correlation in Diagnosis and Prescription
====
The most common disorders by far that antidepressants are used for are depression and anxiety. Often anxiety and depressive disorders are diagnosed together. Antidepressants are considered the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. As stated in point 1, the percentage of depressive disorders diagnosed in the United States is 6%.The percentage of prescriptions is 10% (Szabo, 2009). This illustrates a large amount of people prescribed drugs that are not to treat clinical depression or anxiety, but to quell symptoms of it before they are ever actually diagnosed.

Citations
Barber, Charles. "Comfortably Numb". 2008. Print.
Cohen, Elizabeth. "CDC: Antidepressants most prescribed drugs in U.S.". 2007 (http://articles.cnn.com...)
Szabo, Liz. "Number of Americans taking antidepressants doubles". 2009. (http://www.usatoday.com...)

Tables and Visuals
[1] http://img.medscape.com...
[2] http://images.huffingtonpost.com...
CarterKemmet

Con

CarterKemmet forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
darceem

Pro

Because my opponent can not respond, I can not respond either. I shall allow him to make closing arguments if he chooses.
CarterKemmet

Con

CarterKemmet forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by badger 6 years ago
badger
thank god.
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
"There are more people taking antidepressants than there are people diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders." -Interesting.
Posted by darceem 6 years ago
darceem
Nah, yours is more on which methods of therapy are more effective, mine is more on is any therapy even necessary.
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
I created a similar debate yesterday so I hope our arguments are not too similar :p
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
Agreed with Pro for the moment. Hopefully this we be accepted by someone with a good knowledge of the drug industry and I can learn something about the veracity of this claim.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
darceemCarterKemmetTied
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Vote Placed by darceem 6 years ago
darceem
darceemCarterKemmetTied
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