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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Doctors are prescribing more and more antidepressants

The depressing news that doctors are prescribing more and more antidepressants, e.g. Prozac, has been widely reported this week, and it has been suggested that debt and job worries have contributed to this situation. It has also been suggested by Dr Clare Gerada, head of the Royal College of GPs, in this BBC News report, that "some of the rise in prescribing was also likely to be due to increased awareness about the condition and doctors getting better at diagnosis."

Let's just have a think about this. - Yes, there will certainly be more people with money problems and worries, and worries about having lost their jobs or whether they will be losing their jobs. To feel depressed/upset/worried is normal in these circumstances. - How does it help at all to label this normal reaction a mental illness with a catchall name of Depression? And how can taking psychotropic drugs help with money problems or with holding onto a job or obtaining another job? - It can't.

Drugs cannot help with the practical problems of being short of money or being out of work. Nor do they help lift the spirits, despite their erroneously being referred to sometimes as 'happy pills'. Antidepressant drugs work no better than dummy pills , and they frequently cause great harm (adverse side-effects) to the people who take them.

I wonder whether Dr Gerada has considered getting a job as a comedian? The idea that doctors are 'getting better at diagnosis' of 'depression' has me in stitches...(o: - Every time we read a newspaper there is some spokesperson or other explaining that depression/mental illness is on the rise, and that 1 in ? of us (insert your own figures for the incidence of this putative illness) will experience it before we die. It would be a good idea if doctors were to give up 'diagnosing depression' and making their patients more ill by prescribing toxic antidepressants, and instead ordered tests for anaemia, vitamin D deficiency, etc. and concentrated on helping the patients by advocating dietary changes where necessary, and prescribing vitamin and mineral supplements to remedy nutritional problems. - This would undoubtedly make their patients feel a lot better and would make them physically and mentally much more efficient and so more likely to remain/become employed.