Archive for April 6th, 2012

April 6, 2012

‘Every 20-something I know is in therapy for something’

by Grace

A 20-something college graduate looks around and finds her peers need counseling to help them handle their unemployment blues.

Being depressed prolongs the unemployment process, and I believe a lot of kids my age were/are depressed. One of the ways to pull out of depression is to be productive. If you need medical attention, get it. If you need therapy, get therapy. Every 20-something I know is in therapy for something. I take anti-depressants and anxiety medication. My anxiety medication is the butt of a lot of jokes, but it helps me. A part of being an adult is knowing when you need help and seeking it.

Is this hyperbole?  Let’s look at the numbers.

Young adults do seem to suffer from mental illness at higher rates, with the 18-25 age group the highest at almost 30%.  I could not find data for how many are undergoing therapy, but apparently there has been shift from “talk therapy” to drugs as the dominant mode of treatment.

Who is taking medication?

This graph shows that members of my demographic group, females aged 40-59, use the most antidepressants.  This is consistent with my personal observation.  But other reasons may explain why the numbers are so high.

The survey captured how many patients are on antidepressants, not necessarily how many patients are being treated for depression with antidepressants. Because antidepressants are also prescribed for anxiety, neurological pain, fibromyalgia, sleep problems, and menopausal hot flashes, some of those reporting being on antidepressants may have been medicated for those reasons, not for depression, says Dr. John Messmer, associate professor of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.

Well.  I’ll just reiterate the advice given above, applicable both to unemployed* 20-somethings and menopausal women.

If you need medical attention, get it. If you need therapy, get therapy.

* Unfortunately, with health insurance so closely tied to employment, paying for medical needs can be the biggest challenge for this group.

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