Breakdown of the US population on Antidepressants
and the Harm it is Causing

Who’s taking antidepressants?

Findings from surveys conducted in the United States between 2011-2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that approximately one-eighth of the American population aged 12 and older had been taking an antidepressant during at least the past month. The largest percentage of these people were non-Hispanic whites and of these, women were approximately twice as likely as men to be taking the drugs.

Compared to a similar CDC survey conducted 10 years earlier these statistics were trending upwards. It is quite likely that even higher percentages of the American population, especially women, are taking antidepressants today. The marketing for these types of drugs is also on the rise. Currently, in many medical facilities in the country today, when patients come for a service they are required to fill out a lengthy survey inquiring about their emotional states so that they can be offered more psychiatric drugs, including especially antidepressants.

Effectiveness of antidepressants vs. non-drug approaches

Exercise has been found to be just as effective as antidepressants for reducing depression for many people; in fact, over the long-term, it has even better results. Good, friendly communication on the part of a doctor or friends and family can be very helpful in reducing depression. Also, research studies for several of the leading antidepressants that were originally submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that placebo pills (made of sugar, not a drug) were almost as effective in reducing depression as the leading antidepressants were.

The effectiveness of placebo in treating patients

When drugs are tested against placebos, comparable groups of patients are told beforehand that they will be taking either a drug or a placebo during the course of the study, but they aren’t told which one and the pills or capsules they are getting will all look the same. This is known as a blind study. If the doctors administering the pills or capsules also don’t know which ones they are giving to the patients, then the study is considered a double-blind study.

During drug testing comparing a drug to placebo, after about three weeks most of the patients taking actual drugs know that they are receiving a drug because of the side effects they are having. This knowledge makes them think they must be getting better because they are taking a “medicine.” This decision on the part of the patients can tip the scales of the results of the testing and make the drug seem to be more effective.

One should not underestimate the power of the placebo effect, that is to say, the patient forming a belief that the medicine he is receiving is working when the medicine itself does not really have beneficial properties.

There is very interesting information about the power of the placebo effect and its relation to the use of the modern antidepressants which can be found in Irving Kirsch’s book The Emperor’s New Drugs, Exploding the Antidepressant Myth.

Antidepressants increase percent of people who get suicidal

It’s also been observed that the modern antidepressants can increase the percentages of patients suffering from depression who develop suicidal thinking and actions, some of whom take their own lives. In 2004 the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] began requiring black box warnings on literature accompanying these drugs to alert patients and their families about this deadly side effect.

Antidepressants have been a common factor with many mass shooters

Antidepressants have often been found to be a factor in many cases in which mass murderers have gone berserk and started randomly shooting multiple victims. The antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs these individuals were taking used to be reported on by major public media more frequently than today. The media still report on these news stories because “if it bleeds it leads,” but in today’s news they seem to display almost no interest in uncovering reasons the shooters have gone berserk.

However, examples of mass murderers taking antidepressants are numerous in past news stories. Famous among such shootings were the cases of high school students Kip Kinkel in Oregon and Eric Harris in Columbine, Colorado. In the case of Joseph Wesbecker in Kentucky, he was started on Prozac 33 days before he went to his former workplace and shot 20 people, killing 8 of them, wounding 12 and then killed himself. In some cases the news reporting in the past would reveal the doses of the drugs the shooters were on had been raised shortly before they began murdering people. There was the case with an employee named Michael McDermott in Massachusetts who shot and killed 7 co-workers shortly after his dose of Prozac was increased. There was also a similar case where a student at Red Lake High in Minnesota named Jeffrey Weiss had his dose of Prozac raised and shortly after he shot his grandfather and the grandfather’s girlfriend, then went to his high school and killed seven people and wounded 5 others and then killed himself.

(For more information about mass murders and suicides from people taking antidepressants simply google “ssri stories” and then click on the site “Index to SSRI Stories.” The site has thousands of cases of misfortune with the use of these drugs and if you click on each example some documentation is provided.)

Harmful side effects of antidepressants

Antidepressants have numerous side effects including nausea, increased appetite and weight gain, loss of sexual desire in women and men, other sexual problems such as decreased ability to orgasm and erectile dysfunction, fatigue and drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, anxiety (this list of side effects was primarily found on This is by no means a complete list.

Very severe withdrawal effects from antidepressants

Another major side effect with antidepressants is that they can be extremely addictive, largely due to the fact that their withdrawal effects are so painful and uncomfortable. Many patients who started taking antidepressants have later wanted to get off them, but have had terrific trouble getting past their withdrawal effects. Many give up and just keep taking the drugs even though they would rather not.

Eighteen percent of a group of pregnant mothers on antidepressants
gave birth to children with Chiari I brain malformation

There is a brain deformity known as Chiari I malformation (named after a brain researcher named Hans Chiari.) It is an abnormal brain condition where a section of the bottom of the brain grows down through the hole in the bottom of the skull and into the top of the spinal canal. People who have Chiari I can suffer from severe headaches, neck pains, difficulty with controlling their arms and fingers, vision problems, balance difficulties, jammed spinal fluid, etc. Those that find out they have this deformity from seeing it on brain scans sometimes decide to get surgeries to lessen the pain. The surgeries do not always work.

A research study published in 2014 showed that when women were taking antidepressants during their pregnancies, eighteen percent of them gave birth to children with Chiari I malformation. That is a very high percentage for such a serious side effect. The title of the study is “Rate of Chiari I Malformation in Children of Mothers with Depression with and without Prenatal SSRI Exposure.” (“SSRI” stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor which are the modern antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, etc.) (Serotonin is a chemical found throughout the entire nervous system, including the brain. It is also found in red blood cells and other key places in the body.)

A few of the other side effects of exposing children in the womb to antidepressants.

There are many other potential birth defects that have been observed in young children who have been made to take antidepressants in the womb, including a near doubling of the rate of autism, as well as increased incidences of heart defects and lessened abilities of the children in the areas of speech, motor skills, and scholastic performance.

Sperm is also damaged when the men take antidepressants

Aside from reducing sex drive and ability to orgasm in both men and women, men’s sperm can also be seriously affected by taking antidepressants. Studies have shown that when men take the modern antidepressants known as SSRIs their sperm counts can drop to about a third of what is normal, the ability of sperms to propel themselves can be reduced, the form and structure of the sperms can be altered from normal and they can develop increased levels of DNA fragmentation. (One can find out more about these phenomena simply by googling “sperm and antidepressants.” It is a subject deserving of much more attention and research.)

Antidepressants and declining birthrates in the U.S.

When women have births of two children in their lifetimes, the population of the country they live in has a chance to at least maintain its size when the parents pass away. According to CDC records, the U.S. birthrates have been gradually falling for about the last 32 years. There are many probable reasons for the lowering rates of births in the U.S. The broad use of SSRI antidepressants is undoubtedly one of them. The modern antidepressants, known as SSRIs, were popularized with the release of Prozac on the American market in 1987, which was 33 years ago. Since Prozac’s release on the U.S. market, numerous other copycat SSRI drugs have come onto the market as well. These antidepressants cause reduced sex drive in both men and women, they cause erectile dysfunction, they cause decreased ability to orgasm to both sexes and they cause damage to men’s sperm. Currently, about one-eighth of Americans who are twelve years old and older will be found taking antidepressants and the majority are women. The women’s eggs will be affected by the drugs and so will their embryos and fetuses if they are taking these drugs when they are pregnant. Obviously, eggs, sperms, embryos and fetuses should not be taking antidepressants if we want all children to be born in the healthiest condition possible.

Drugging Kids: Psychiatry’s Wholesale Drugging of Schoolchildren for ADHD is available on, both as a paperback and as a Kindle book.