A few years ago, while writing an article about the merits of psychiatric medications, I looked at whether the number of adults receiving a federal disability payment due to mental illness had significantly changed since 1987, which was the year that Prozac was introduced. Our society's use of psychiatric medications, of course, has soared since that time, and here's what I discovered: The number of adults, ages 18 to 65, on the federal disability rolls due to mental illness jumped from 1.25 million in 1987 to four million in 2007. Roughly one in every 45 working-age adults is now on government disability due to mental illness.
This epidemic has now struck our nation's children, too. The number of children who receive a federal payment because of a severe mental illness rose from 16,200 in 1987 to 561,569 in 2007, a 35-fold increase. >Complete interview<