Something startling is going on with antidepressant use around the world

Something startling is going on with antidepressant use around the world, by Skye Gould.

A few years ago, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looked at antidepressant use in 25 countries and found something startling.

In every single country the OECD looked at, antidepressant use was on the rise. …

Antidepressant use is not an accurate window into rates of depression. Instead, the popularity of antidepressants in a given country is the result of a complicated mix of depression rates, stigma, wealth, health coverage, and availability of treatment.

In the United States, for example, only about a third of people with severe depression take an antidepressant. In South Korea, where antidepressant use is the lowest among the countries analyzed, the suicide rate is the highest in the developed world. Koreans are much likelier than Americans to see mental illness as a personal weakness, research has shown, which means many never seek treatment.