More than one-third of Americans are currently using medications that increase their risk of depression and nearly a quarter of Americans use medications that have increased risk of suicide as a side effect.
Citing a summer study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission for Human Rights (CCHR), is hosting and open house and has issued a warning to the general public that growing instances of depression among Americans may be caused by widespread use of prescription medications that have depression as a side effect. 
The JAMA study stresses that depression and suicide risk are common side effects of 203 prescription drugs including common medications for birth control, high blood pressure and acid reflux all of which have increased risk of depression as a “side effect”. 
Additionally, and according to the same study, more than one-third of Americans are currently using medications that increase their risk of depression and nearly a quarter of Americans use medications that have increased risk of suicide as a side effect.
“Americans are being medicated into depression,” said Diane Stein, President of the Florida chapter of CCHR. “The current plague of rising depression and suicide in the U.S. it not natural it is being caused.”
The researchers from the University of Illinois and Columbia University discovered that people using these 203 prescription drugs had an elevated risk of depression compared to the general population. Furthermore, the more medications with depression as a side effect people took, the more their risk of depression increased, statistically.
The study was based on detailed examination of records of 23,000 patients and found that individuals taking medications with depressive side effects increased their likelihood of depression by 15 percent. Those taking medications with suicidal thoughts as a side effect increased their risk of suicidal issues by 18 percent.
“It’s remarkable to know just how common it is that people might be at higher risk because of medicines they take,” said University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor Michael Thase, who was not involved in the study but was quoted in an article by Vox Media. “Thinking about these [potential side effects] should be [doctors’] second or third step before they prescribe antidepressants. Sometimes de-prescribing [other drugs] is what’s needed.”
Anyone wishing for more information on psychiatric drugs is encouraged to contact CCHR Florida at 727-442-8820 or visit the center located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Avenue in downtown.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969. For more information visit www.cchrflorida.org.
 Prevalence of Prescription Medications With Depression as a Potential Adverse Effect Among Adults in the United States, by Dima Mazen Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD; Katharine Ozenberger, MS; Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, June 12, 2018 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2684607
 Depression and suicide risk are side effects of more than 200 common drugs, by Julia Belluz, Jun 15, 2018, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/14/17458726/depression-drugs-suicide-side-effect