Antidepressants prevalence

Depressive disorders are highly prevalent and a major cause of disability. They increase the risk of premature mortality and decrease quality of life, which creates a substantial burden on health systems.

Antidepressants are typically used for treatment of moderate to severe depressive disorders. In addition, antidepressants are used for other psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Some antidepressants are also prescribed for treatment of neuropathic pain.
There are multiple types of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). SSRIs are the most widely prescribed type of antidepressants because they generally have fewer side effects and lower risks with overdose than most other types of antidepressants.

During the recent years, the use of antidepressants has been increasing in all Nordic countries. The prevalence is highest in Iceland while Denmark, Faroe Islands and Norway have the lowest use among the Nordic countries. Women are prescribed more antidepressants than men and the use also vary by age. People aged 75 and above have the highest prevalence in all countries. 

Please note that the data includes all use of antidepressants, irrespective of type of condition. The increasing prevalence of antidepressants is explained by both a rise in incidence of use and a rise in long-term antidepressant use.