What's going on? The drug companies are making a fortune. There is a pill for every ailment, and eveyone has an ailment. Though its not my intention to throw the entire psych profession under the bus, there are some who push pills in order for the patients to get immediate relief, or for less altruistic reasons. Patients also demand action. Look at those who demand antibiotics for viral ailments, doctors often relent under the pressure and prescribe them.
Parents nowadays, who run their children to all sorts of activities complain of various ailments or behaviours that seem out of the norm. Hell, put the kids on a pill. ADD and ADHD are probably the most diagnosed ailments children suffer, when it is merely just kids being kids. Give 'em uppers when they're down, and downers when they're up.
There are legitimate mental ailments that sometimes require medical treatment. Clinical depression is not easily diagnosed, especially self diagnosed. A case of the blues or blahs isn't necessarily depression. It also often manifests itself physically, even without any manic mood swings. Hormone imbalances also cause psychological ailments, these too are treatable. I think much of the problem is diagnoses and the desire for immediate treatment. It may take a long time to accurately diagnose a problem and prescribe treatment, if needed. Our "I want it now" society only adds to the problem of misdiagnoses and ill advised treatment.
I'm sure our country isn't that much different from others where a psychiatrist is an MD with a couple of years of psych training. A psychologist has 7 years or more of psych training and is generally better qualified to diagnose mental illness, however they cannot prescribe any drug treatment. It is my belief that psychological assments should be done by both psychologists and psychiatrists working together, and may take many visits. Unfortunately government health plans do not generally cover the cost of a psychologist, and after a wait of 3 months or more to see a shrink a patient will want, (and often gets) an assessment and prescription after the first or second visit. Certainly not a prescription for a healthy society