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Anorak | Are Anti-Depressants Over-Prescribed?

Are Anti-Depressants Over-Prescribed?

by | 13th, August 2014

 A mentally ill man sits alone in the dayroom inside Idaho's maximum security prison south of Boise, Idaho, Jan. 24, 2007. He is one of many of Idaho's mentally ill sent to the prison for treatment because there is no where else for him to go. He is too sick to be treated as an outpatient and too dangerous for lower-level security hospitals. (AP Photo/Troy Maben)

ARE anti-depressants over-prescribed.

Stephen Lawrie, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuro-Imaging, Director of PsySTAR at University of Edinburgh, takes a view in  The Conversation :

There is a persistent media hype surrounding the notion that the prescription of antidepressants is at record levels ”, and on the rise ”. Yet  numerous studies  have shown that most people with depression do not get any treatment. How can both be true?

To approach this question, we must begin by understanding what depression is. We need to appreciate how common, disabling, and yet stigmatised it can be. We should also consider what effective treatments are available for depression, what other conditions antidepressants are prescribed for, and how antidepressants are prescribed and monitored.

Depression is an ambiguous term, but when we speak of it as an illness there is a clear definition. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has  diagnostic criteria  for what is called “clinical depression”. Based on the WHO definitions, clinical depression affects about 5% of the population at any point in time, and lasts for an average of six months.

People who are pervasively sad or unable to enjoy their usual activities for two weeks or more can be diagnosed

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Posted: 13th, August 2014 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink