Few studies have examined how often people go to psychotherapy, and the most recent findings lack age breakdowns. Psychotherapy and psychiatry visit rates and relationships were studied by age/sex and antidepressant/antipsychotic usage using the 2017-2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). 

Included in the study were 90,853 people; 3.6% (95% CI, 3.4-3.8) reported seeing a psychiatrist during that time, and 5.2% (95% CI, 4.9-5.4) reported seeing any kind of psychotherapist in that time. It was shown that after the age 15, females had a higher rate of psychotherapy visits than males. Women’s rates of psychotherapy visits peaked between the ages of 15 and 30, whereas men’s rates peaked between 10 and 25. Males had greater rates than females for psychiatric doctor visits before puberty, were on par with girls during adolescence, saw a decline in their rates during adulthood, and were on par with females beyond age 60. 

Comparatively, there was less of a generational divide in the frequency of psychotherapy sessions than in the frequency of psychiatry appointments. The proportion of people on antidepressants or antipsychotics who also receive annual psychotherapy or psychiatric care is much greater among the younger age groups and declines with increasing age. Females between the ages of 15 and 30 utilize psychotherapy and psychiatry at a higher rate than males of any age group, and younger people (relative to older people) are more likely to have reported taking antidepressants or antipsychotics.

Source: jabfm.org/content/35/5/886