The US-based study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that 69 per cent of people taking anti-depressants did not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression.

"Many individuals prescribed anti-depressants may not have met the criteria for mental disorders," the researchers were quoted as saying.

"Our data indicates that anti-depressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications," the researchers  noted.

The researchers used data from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Study Wave 1 (1981) through Wave 4 (2004-2005) and assessed lifetime prevalence of common mood and anxiety disorders among participants who reported current anti-depressant use.

They also examined factors associated with current anti-depressant use.

 

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