Antidepressants seem to be handed out like candy despite their dangers. Why is that?

Overprescribed. I would not say they are handed out like candy, but I would agree they are sometimes prescribed too readily. As far as dangers, it is always a matter of risk vs benefit. Unfortunately, societal attitudes toward medications may deter those who really need it from seeking treatment.
I hope they are. Not handed out like candy. One frustration I have as a psychiatrist, is that many people think of us like McDonald's drive throughs. They want to come in & get a magic pill that solves their problems. Many people don't want to commit to making other life style changes or engaging in psychotherapy. I think that might be one reason they may be over-prescribed.