Antidepressant use on the rise
Antidepressants are being prescribed too quickly, according to a survey by mental health charity Mind .
Almost 70 per cent of the 1,500 people surveyed for the research said their GP or psychiatrist prescribed antidepressants before waiting to see if symptoms improved on their own. More than 80 per cent said it was their GP or psychiatrist who suggested medication in the first place and of those, half agreed it was the right course of action whereas 42 per cent did not agree.
Almost half of people who responded felt they were not given enough information about the medication they were prescribed. More than a third of those surveyed said they had been taking the medication for more than five years and six per cent had never had their medication monitored.
However, the report by Mind also found that prescribing taking therapies alongside antidepressants seems to be increasing. Two years ago just a third of people who were prescribed antidepressants were prescribed therapy as well whereas this figure has risen to 50 per cent of people who have been prescribed antidepressants in the last two years.
Chief executive of Mind Paul Farmer said: “As we enter a period of cuts and significant change for NHS commissioning, there is a real opportunity to examine the use of antidepressants and look at what other treatments are available in local communities. Clinical Commissioning Groups must take this chance to commission the services that people with depression and other mental health problems desperately need.
“Depression must be taken seriously. Left untreated it can lead to crisis and can wreck lives. It’s time to start giving our mental health the same priority we give to our physical health,” he added.
For more information on antidepressants click here if you are a young person or click here if you are a parent.