Pharmaceutical

Women more likely than men to suffer from mental disorders

One in five adults in the United States suffered from mental illness last year, and women were far more likely than men to have been diagnosed with mental, behavioral or emotional disorders, according to a newly released government study.

The survey, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, involved in-person interviews with 67,500 people aged 12 and older. Not only did the survey show that women were more likely to be depressed, the rate of mental illness among people aged 18 to 25 was twice that of those aged 50 and older.

The information goes hand-in-hand with other studies that show antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are now one of the most prescribed medications in the United States. While many people find relief from their symptoms of depression and anxiety from these antidepressants, caution should be used by women, especially those of childbearing age and those who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Studies have linked SSRI use during pregnancy to serious birth defects.

SSRIs include the brand names Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac. All were considered relatively safe to use during pregnancy because there were no studies to prove that the drugs caused birth defects or other pregnancy complications. That is, until researchers began gathering data that showed a link between Paxil and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).

A stronger warning was placed on Paxil, but researchers are concerned that other drugs in the same class of antidepressants may carry the same risk for PPHN or other birth defects including heart defects, neural tube defects, and defects of the intestines or abdominal organs. Malformation defects have also been reported.

Source: Fox News