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Doctors claim 60% of college students have psychiatric disorders and need to be on drugs

Psychiatric disorders

(NaturalNews) It would appear that Big Pharma has joined forces with the mainstream medical industry yet again – this time to boost sales of psychiatric drugs in the 20-something population. Dr. Gene Beresin, a psychiatrist and executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently claimed that somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of all college students have a "psychiatric disorder."

This ridiculous claim includes things like going through a breakup, "academic problems" and "problems with relationships," along with actual conditions such as depression and anxiety. Are breakups difficult? Absolutely. Should 20-year-olds be given heavy-duty drugs because they are sad? Absolutely not!

What is really funny about this concept is that Dr. Beresin includes use of substances as part of his list of "psychiatric disorders." Substance abuse is a growing problem in this country – there's no doubt about that. However, is it really any wiser to suggest that students medicate themselves with pharmaceuticals every time they feel bad? It may not be illegal, but it is not teaching young adults how to cope with life in an adult manner, and one could argue that it is setting them up for a future of self-medication. Once they graduate with their frou-frou degree in a niche field of study and can't find a job, guess what they'll be doing when they can't afford to buy their prescriptions without mommy and daddy's insurance? They'll be self-medicating – that's what they'll be doing.

Many college students contend that life in school can be stressful and difficult. And surely, it is. It's often the first time they are living alone and have to choose to be responsible for themselves, and that can be overwhelming. The suicide rate in college students has been exploding; Dr. Beresin states that roughly one college student takes their life every day.

Studies have shown that psychotherapy – or talk therapy – is equal to or better than psychiatric medications when it comes to treating depression. While millions of people believe that their precious pills really do help them, evidence indicates otherwise. A type of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was tested against nine different types of psychiatric drugs in one of the largest studies conducted on sequential depression treatments – meaning that patients were provided different types of therapy if previous treatments failed. The study was called "Sequential Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression" (or STAR*D for short). The study began by putting all of the patients on the drug Celexa. In the second phase, all of the patients who didn't improve were given a new psych med or strictly CBT therapy. In the groups who received one of three new medications, only around 25 to 26 percent experienced improvements in their depression. Conversely, 42 percent of the CBT only group experienced improvements in their depression symptoms. The evidence suggests that CBT therapy alone was by far the most effective treatment.

Given the propensity for unwanted side effects in most prescription psychiatric drugs, choosing something like CBT would certainly make more sense, especially for young adults. In 2007, the agency updated their black box warning for antidepressant use in children and teens, and extended it to include young adults (aka college students).

Perhaps, instead of teaching teens and young adults that Big Pharma can solve all their problems, they would be better served by being educated on how to help themselves. In addition to teaching them how to reach out, helping college students engage in active, healthy lifestyles, learn appropriate ways to decompress and prepare healthy food for themselves on a budget, might also be helpful. However, none of these things tend to generate profits for mainstream medical hacks or Big Pharma reps.






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