• 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.
Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Manheimer DI, Cisin IH, Parry HJ. Psychic Distress, Life Crisis, and Use of Psychotherapeutic MedicationsNational Household Survey Data. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(9):1045-1052. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770330019001