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Antidepressant Use on the Rise in Scotland

Antidepressant Use on the Rise in Scotland

A recent report has shown that the use of antidepressants in Scotland has raised this year by 5% making an increase in their use from 2009/10 to 28.5%. This is an eye watering increase in the use of medication which was only meant to assist people over the initial difficulties associated with anxiety and depression. Good practice in this treatment included the use of antidepressants, but in concert with other psychological or talking therapies. This most crucial element to good mental health seems to have been missed by many General Practitioners.

There are two significant issues here, the first is why are Scots seeming to be in such great need for these drugs. All too often this subject becomes a way for the various political parties to score points against one another. My question is, “Is there something wrong in Scotland that needs to be address by the healthcare community?” Antidepressants do not fix the problem, but merely acts as a crutch to assist people to manage, but the key is manage, not to get well. Which leads to the second issue, at a price tag of £40.8M, is this course of action value for money. We all know that the health service is cash poor at the moment, surely the time has come to explore new ways in treating the increasing number of depression and anxiety clients.

Psychotherapy has offered assistance for these conditions for years, yet we see a decline in the offering of these services within the NHS. Perhaps it is time for the mandarins at the Department of Health to have a bit of a rethink on this subject for the good of the people and the good of the balance sheet.

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