More people are taking anti-depressants in Britain, with the number of prescriptions soaring by a quarter in just three years, Press TV reports.
Official figures by the National Health Service showed earlier this week that more than 53 million prescriptions were handed out for drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat in England last year - a record high, and a rise of 24.6 percent since 2010.
The NHS says antidepressants should not be offered as the first resort for people with mild to moderate depression, and that people should be referred for “talking therapies” in such cases instead.
“Guidelines suggest that you will only prescribe anti-depressant medication if it is severe depression so anything multi-moderate would first be tackled using talking therapies,” chief executive of PsycheMe Ltd Nabila El-Zanaty told Press TV.
“We need to build up people’s resilience in order to help them deal with these problems as opposed to giving them the medication to help them deal with them. If people feel that they can take a pill to help the way that they feel they are going to rely on that as opposed to dealing with their own coping mechanism to deal with it,” she added.
Experts say economic recession has played a major role in the increase of anti-depressant prescriptions, as the struggle to make ends meet affects people’s mental health.
Meanwhile, with cuts deep into the NHS, waiting lists have grown and it can now take months to see a therapist.
The UK now has the seventh highest prescribing rate for antidepressants in the Western world, with around four million people taking them every year - twice as many as a decade ago.