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America's State of Mind: New Report Finds Americans Increasingly Turn to Medications to Ease their Mental Woes; Women Lead the Trend
Date:11/15/2011

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- What could be a sign of America's psychological state of mind, a new report shows more than one-in-five adult Americans took at least one medication commonly used to treat a psychiatric or behavioral disorder in 2010.  Women's use was even higher, with one-in-four on a mental health-related drug last year.  That's according to "America's State of Mind," a Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) analysis of trends in mental health medication usage among approximately 2.5  million insured Americans, comparing utilization of antidepressants, antipsychotics, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs and anti-anxiety treatments from 2001 to 2010.  

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The report finds that women of all ages take more mental health medications than their male counterparts.  Antidepressants are by far the most commonly utilized, with over 20 percent of women on a drug typically prescribed to treat depression.  Anxiety treatments are also widely used by women and at almost twice the rate of men; the greatest use is found among middle-aged women (45-65 years old), 11 percent of whom were on an anti-anxiety drug last year.  

While many more boys than girls are prescribed treatments for ADHD, once they grow up that picture changes dramatically.  Overall, the number of women on ADHD drugs was 2.5 times higher than in 2001- overtaking men in their use of these drugs.  The most striking jump was seen in 20-44 year old women whose numbers rose 264 percent in ten years.

"Over the past decade, 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 r
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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