A Project of the Empathic Therapy Center is an online library and newspaper project of the 501c3 nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living, founded by Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin, working toward replacing the biological theories, diagnoses and treatments of "modern" psychiatry with better therapeutic and educational approaches

Peter R. Breggin, MD Websites

Psychiatric StatisticsPsychiatric Statistics


"Antidepressant Use in Persons 12 Years and Older in the United States, 2005-2008" NCHS Data Brief  National Center for Health Statistics, Center for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, October 2011
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys includes:  "Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005–2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18–44 years. From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.... About one in 10 Americans aged 12 and over takes antidepressant medication."


How small samples get extrapolated into 100's of millions of people with disease condition-- "Does it seem like a reasonable leap to make assumptions about 150 million people in the U.S. based on responses from fewer than 2,000 people in Scotland who may have been more motivated to reply to a survey about pain because they were, in fact, suffering from chronic pain?


 9% Increase of SSRI Prescriptions in UK in 1 Year--  47 Million Scripts Written, by Sophie Borland, Daily Mail, July 31, 2012

Record numbers of adults are relying on Prozac and other so-called happy pills, according to NHS figures.
Almost 50million prescriptions were handed out by doctors last year – a rise of nine per cent compared with the previous 12 months. Experts said increasing numbers of patients are turning to GPs for help as depression loses its stigma. At the same time, doctors are more inclined to give people a proper diagnosis and prescribe medication, rather than simply sending them away. The figures, from the NHS Information Centre, show the health service spent £270 million handing out such drugs in 2011, a rise of more than a fifth compared with 2010.

"Increasing Off-Label Use of Antipsychotic Medications in the United States, 1995-2008" by Caleb Alexander, MD et al, Pyharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. Feb 2011 From 1995-2008, antipsychotic prescribing increased substantially, from 6.2 million in '95 to 14.3 million in 2008. Large shift from typical antipsychotics to atypicals occurred between 1995 and 2008.  Estimated cost of off-label use of atypical antipsychotics in 2008 was US $6.0 billion.


Global sales of antipsychotics and antidepressants reached nearly $50 billion in 2011 according to the IMS~ FiercePharma article August 2012.  Read more here.


"More than a third of the kids in foster care without disabilities had multiple antipsychotic prescriptions for longer than 90 days. Those who were not adopted had the highest rates of all -- 38 out of every 100 children." -- Reuters

See:  Foster kids get more antipsychotics: study -- Reuters News, November 22, 2011

 "Foster children are being prescribed cocktails of powerful antipsychosis drugs just as frequently as some of the most mentally disabled youngsters"

see: Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care
By BENEDICT CAREY, The New York Times November 21, 2011


"Canadian children drugged in record numbers; Atypical antipsychotics lead to complications" The Vancouver Sun, November 14, 2011.  "So many Canadian children are taking the drugs known as atypical antipsychotics that doctors are being asked to watch for major complications - including dramatic weight gain, tremors, and abnormal face and jaw movements.  Once reserved for schizophrenia and mania in adults, one antipsychotic alone, risperidone, was recommended by Canadian-offIce-based doctors for children 17 and younger a total of 340,670 times in 2010 - a near-doubling since 2006"


The number of working-age people receiving Social Security Disability Payments "has soared" - See 'Doctor Revolt Shakes Disability Program' The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2011


America’s State of Mind Report: a Medco Health Solutions, Inc. Analysis November 2011

America’s State of Mind Report is a Medco Health Solutions, Inc. analysis examining trends in the utilization of mental health‐related medications among the insured population. The research reviewed prescription drug claims of over two million Americans to assess the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs and anti‐anxiety treatments between 2001 and 2010.

The Report provides revealing insights into the utilization of mental health treatments along gender lines, age groups and geography, as well as changes that have occurred over the decade.

Overview of Mental Health Medication Trends
Overall, the number of Americans on medications used to treat psychological and behavioral disorders has substantially increased since 2001; more than one‐in‐five adults was on at least one of these medications in 2010, up 22 percent from ten years earlier. Women are far more likely to take a drug to treat a mental health condition than men, with more than a quarter of the adult female population on these drugs in 2010 as compared to 15 percent of men.

Women ages 45 and older showed the highest use of these drugs overall. Yet surprisingly, it was younger men (ages 20 to 44) who experienced the greatest increase in their numbers, rising 43 percent from 2001 to 2010.

The trends among children are opposite those of adults: boys are the higher utilizers of these medications overall but girls’ use has been increasing at a faster rate.

Read more here.


"Increasing off-label use of antipsychotic medications in the United States 1995-2008", G.C. Alexander, et al, 2011, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. "Atypical use has grown far beyond substitution for the now infrequently used typical agents. Antipsychotics are increasingly used for conditions where FDA approval and associated clinical evidence is less certain..."


"Why Are We Drugging Our Soldiers?" by Richard Friedman, NY Times, April 21, 2012. "the number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years, to 32,000 from 3,000."