Abstract • Findings are reported from a nationwide survey of a crosssection probability sample (N = 2,552) of US adults. Data on psychic distress were obtained from a shortened version of the Hopkins symptom checklist, data on life crises from a shortened version of the Holmes-Rahe social readjustment rating scale. Methods for collecting data on use of psychotherapeutic medications were validated in a separate study. Data are presented on the prevalence of high levels of psychic distress and life crisis among various age, sex, and other demographic subgroups; on the relation between life crisis and psychic distress; and on the relation of life crisis and psychic distress to use of psychotherapeutic medications and alcohol. The findings suggest an illness behavior model for the use of psychotherapeutic medications in outpatient practice, and they lend little support to a "selfindulgent consumer" interpretation. References 1. Berg RH: The over-medicated woman . McCall's 67:109-111, 1971. 2. Lennard HL, Epstein LJ, Bernstein A, et al: Mystification and Drug Misuse . San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1971. 3. Rogers JM: Stimulus/response: Drug abuse by prescription . Psychol Today 5:16-24, 1971. 4. Lader M: The social implications of psychotropic drugs . R Soc Health J 95:304-305, 1975.Crossref 5. Balter MB, Bauer ML: Patterns of prescribing and use of hypnotic drugs in the United States , in Clift AD (ed): Sleep Disturbance and Hypnotic Drug Dependence . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1975. 6. Balter MB: An analysis of psychotherapeutic drug consumption in the United States, in Proceedings of the Anglo-American Conference on Drug Abuse. London, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1973, pp 58-68. 7. Balter MB, Levine J: Character and extent of psychotherapeutic drug usage in the United States , in Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Psychiatry, Mexico, 1971 . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1973. 8. Parry HJ, Balter MB, Cisin IH: Primary levels of underreporting of psychotropic drug use . Public Opinion Q 34:582-592, 1970-1971.Crossref 9. Parry HJ, Balter MB, Mellinger GD, et al: National patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use . Arch Gen Psychiatry 28:769-784, 1973.Crossref 10. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Parry HJ, et al: An overview of psychotherapeutic drug use in the United States , in Josephson E, Carroll EE (eds): Drug Use: Epidemiological and Sociological Approaches . New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1974. 11. Manheimer DI, Mellinger GD, Balter MB: Psychotherapeutic drugs: Use among adults in California . Calif Med 109:445-451, 1968. 12. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Manheimer DI: Patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use among adults in San Francisco . Arch Gen Psychiatry 25:385-394, 1971.Crossref 13. Mellinger GD: Psychotherapeutic drug use among adults: A model for young drug users? J Drug Issues 1:274-285, 1971. 14. Manheimer DI, Davidson ST, Balter MB, et al: Popular attitudes and beliefs about tranquilizers . Am J Psychiatry 130:1246-1253, 1973. 15. Derogatis LR, Lipman RS, Rickels K, et al: The Hopkins symptom checklist (HSCL) , in Pichot P (ed): Psychological Measurements in Psychopharmacology . Modern Problems in Pharmacopsychiatry, vol 7. Basel, Karger, 1974. 16. Uhlenhuth EH, Balter MB, Lipman RS: Minor tranquilizers: Clinical correlates of use in an urban population . Arch Gen Psychiatry 35:650-655, 1978.Crossref 17. Raskin A, Schulterbrandt J, Reatig N, et al: Replication of factors in psychopathology in interview, ward behavior and self-report ratings of hospitalized depressants . J Nerv Ment Dis 148:87-88, 1969.Crossref 18. Holmes TH, Rahe RH: The social readjustment rating scale . J Psychosom Res 11:213-218, 1967.Crossref 19. Parry HJ, Cisin IH, Balter MB, et al: Increased alcohol intake as a coping mechanism , in Cooperstock R (ed): Social Aspects and Medical Use of Psychotropic Drugs . Toronto, Addiction Research Foundation, 1974. 20. Cahalan D, Cisin IH: American drinking practices: Summary of findings from a national probability sample: I. Extent of drinking by population subgroups . Q J Study Alcohol 29:130-151, 1968. 21. Balter MB: Coping with illness: Choices, alternatives and consequences , in Helms RB (ed): Drug Development and Marketing . Washington, American Enterprise Institute Center for Health Research, 1974.
Archives of General Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1978
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