Health and Medicine

Which Countries Consume The Most Antidepressants?

November 11, 2015 | by Tom Hale

Photo credit: Carsten Schertzer/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

In most developed countries, the use of antidepressants has risen over the past 15 years. But which country is the highest consumer?

The information in the infographic, below, is from an OECD report called Health at a Glance 2015 that calculated which developed countries consume the most antidepressants. The data was then visualized by Statista.

The information doesn't necessarily show how glum a nation is, nor does the rise in consumption suggest we are becoming unhappier. Although it gives an intriguing insight into the prescription habits of doctors, social taboos of mental illness and an insight into the "medicalization of misery." 

The results showed that Iceland, Australia and Portugal were among the top consumers of antidepressants, while Chile, South Korea and Estonia consumed the least. 

However, it is worth noting that the report only covered the pharmaceutical habits of "developed countries." Also, the United States – the original "Prozac Nation" – did not feature in this particular set of data. Separate data has shown 10% of Americans are prescribed antidepressants, which would put them second on this graph. We should also note that this is per thousand people, not by the total number consumed.

image credit: Statista/The Independent

[H/T: The Independent]

main image credit: Carsten Schertzer/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

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