Is it possible to be under- and over-medicated at the same time? Yes. Definitely. Absolutely. I can only draw from personal experience and that of the people that I know. I don’t know the actual percentage of people on various anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication, mainly because those numbers only exist for the United States and doesn’t take on the rest of the world.
Over-medication is the current damning cry, with the outcry focused mainly on children and the ever-decreasing age at which various mental health problems are diagnosed, such as the incredibility of Bipolar I among children under the age of five. (The ones that parents seek to have diagnosed as sociopaths is an entirely different story and is completely stupid as part of the diagnosis for Anti-Social Personality Disorder is a requirement that the person be an adult.)
There are also the number of people on anti-depressants that are on the wrong ones, or the wrong combinations. This is where the over-medication kicks in, and up pop people who say that SSRIs are the worst thing that has happened to them in their lives and that they’d rather live with the condition that they’re used to rather than chance another go on the magical medical merry-go-round. So they remain under-medicated, while also experiencing over-medication in terms of being on the wrong damn pill.
We treat symptoms, not root causes. There, the big secret why it’s medication + therapy = working baseline, rather than one or the other. In this way, the over- and under-medication of people continues because you throw enough drugs at the problem and the symptoms will go away, but then you get times when the medication stops working and you go up and up on the dosage until you have to augment or switch pills entirely because something’s just not working right.
The insomnia is treated with tranquilizers and the old anti-depressants that don’t really do much else, the inability to get out of bed in the morning is treated by taking Wellbutrin in the morning because one of the side-effects that never goes away is the wakefulness (see previous mention of insomnia, only compounded by this), and then another pill in the evening of a Cipralex/Lexapro because it has a sedating effect. Voila, a magic recipe.