Monday Mood News: Psychiatric Medication Is More Common Than You Think

January 2, 2017

A statistic that we’re quite fond of repeating here is that one in five individuals have some form of mental illness. We say it loud and often to alleviate the stigma surrounding mental health conditions. Well, now there’s another statistic along those lines that’s going to surprise a good many people: one in six Americans are on some form of psychiatric medication.

A recent article from NBC News cites the latest findings published in the the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers discovered “Overall, 16.7 percent of 242 million U.S. adults reported filling one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013.” They also discovered that twice as many white individuals take these medications as opposed to African-Americans, and only 5% of Asians take them at all.

Although the study didn’t ask why the medications were being taken, this is a larger number than previously though, and it raises some questions. We know that stigma often stops many individuals from seeking mental health assistance, and insurance and medication costs could also be a deterrent from seeking help for a mental health condition. We need to remove these barriers to care so any and all who need these treatments are able to have them.

The number of those taking the medications is merely an example that mental health is more common that you’d think, and that if you’re taking medications, you are not alone. We hope more will get the help they need so they may live the lives they’re meant to live.