25 Percent Of American Women Are On Meds For Mental Illness

25 percent of American women are on mental health drugs

Around 25 percent of women in America are on medications for mental illness, according to data from a Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Thomas Moore, a senior scientist at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, and Dr. Donald Mattison, the chief medical officer at the Canadian consulting company Risk Sciences International, claim that double the amount of women are on psychiatric drugs than men.

Live Science reports: Psychiatric drug use differed among adults of different ages, sex and race, the researchers found. For example, nearly 21 percent of white adults reported taking a psychiatric drug, compared with less than 9 percent of Hispanic adults, according to the report.

Older adults also reported a higher rate of psychiatric drug use. One-quarter of adults ages 60 to 85 reported taking at least one of these drugs, compared with less than 10 percent of adults ages 18 to 39, the researchers found.

In addition, nearly twice as many women as men reported taking psychiatric drugs: 21 percent compared with 12 percent, according to the report.


Two antidepressants topped the list for the most commonly used psychiatric drugs: sertraline hydrochloride, which goes by the brand name Zoloft, and citalopram hydrobromide, or Celexa.

Alprazolam, or Xanax, was the most common drug from the sedative, hypnotic and anti-anxiety category, the study said. This medication was the third most common psychiatric drug overall, following Zoloft and Celexa, according to the report.

Other leading drugs included Ambien, which is a hypnotic sleeping pill, and the antidepressants Prozac and Desyrel, the report said.

The researchers noted that because the survey data included information on only a single year, it was difficult to determine how long people had been prescribed different psychiatric drugs. However, more than eight in 10 adults who were taking psychiatric drugs reported long-term use, the researchers wrote.

For antidepressants, there is limited information available about how long an individual should stay on the drug, Moore and Mattison wrote. For certain drugs in the sedative, hypnotic and anxiolytic category, however, people can become dependent, the researchers noted.

To improve the safety of psychiatric drugs, Moore and Mattison suggested increasing the emphasis on prescribing these medications at the lowest effective dose and continually re-assessing the need to keep individuals on the drugs.

  • Black Swan

    More like 80%, because America is exceptional!

  • latelatenews

    This is old old old news.. and the percentages are way down.. amewhorican women started taking “happy pills” in the sixties…they were fucked up way back then….. Australian women were doing the same thing in the sizties.. two of my aunties were very open about their happy pills….. and took them for yrs… Australian men and women were also hooked on headache powders “Bex” and “Vincents” were the two most popular..they contained opiates and were across the counter drugs in any milk bar or supermarket…. my own parents used a box of 12 Bex powders every couple of days….I know because I used to ride my pushy to the shops to buy them…They were 12 cents a box…. early 70’s.. so yeah as far as this being a news story… once again newswire….. you are umm a little bit late with the so called news…. lol

  • Andy C

    Aren’t the other 75% entitled to help?