The Guardian reports that anti-depressant use is up 25% in the UK, with 43.4 million prescriptions.
Science Daily reports 46 million prescriptions for anti-depressants meds in the UK.
Google Public Data shows the population of the United Kingdom rounding to 63 million.
We have to account for the fact that each person may receive more than one prescription for anti-depressants. Still, these numbers are stupendous.
Dr. Desmond Spence of Barclay Medical Centre, suggests that “we use antidepressants too easily, for too long, and that they are effective for few people (if at all).”
He also argues that the current definition of clinical depression – consisting of two weeks of low mood, even after bereavement – is too loose, causing widespread “medicalisation.”
Interestingly, Dr. Spence also points out that 75% of those who create these loose definitions have links to pharmaceutical companies. Ouch.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) does not support the use of anti-depressant medication in mild depression, nor necessarily as first line treatment of moderate depression. Instead, they recommend talk therapy.
The UK does not appear all that interested in talking through their emotional difficulties as a first line of defense against emotional angst. I could be wrong.
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Last reviewed: 25 Jan 2013