These days so many situations are classified as mental disorders, from defiance in children to reasonable depression (where it is normal to be unhappy, due to temporary or changeable situations of loss, firing etc.) in adults. So many people are on anti-depressants these days, and the age of those taking the drugs is constantly dropping.
But where will these mental states fit into our prescribing? Are we looking at early stages of a mental disease, which is part of a systemic problem, or at a reasonable mood change resulting from events and lifestyle where what is really needed is encouragement and advice from friends or professionals? I am of necessity simplifying a complex differential for this article, as when a reasonable mood change becomes prolonged and entrenched, encouragement and advice may no longer be of use. Continue reading