Antidepressants are over-prescribed says study

Professor ofPrimary Medical Care at Liverpool University Chris Dowrick has said that up tohalf of patients receiving treatment for depression or anxiety have beenmisdiagnosed.

Writing in theBritish Medical Journal the GP said: “Over recent decades there has been anincreasing tendency, especially in primary care, to diagnose depression inpatients presenting with sadness or distress and offer them antidepressantmedication.”

He has called forguidelines on diagnosing depression to be tightened and for pharmaceuticalcompanies to be banned from marketing their drugs to GPs. Read more here:

BillWalden-Jones, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “Atthe heart of this is the debate about what constitutes a mental health problem.The important thing to bear in mind is that this is not something defined byseverity. So, for example, there are life problems like bereavement orunemployment which don’t necessarily cause mental health problems but may bemuch more difficult things to experience than a minor mental health problem.Put simply, you can be extremely unhappy but, if that is a proportionateresponse to the reality of your external experience, then it’s not a mentalhealth problem.

“It is absolutely wrong for mental health interventions to get in the wayof people resolving such life problems and it is an insidious and dangeroustrend of our times that mental health busybodies are making work for themselvesby redefining life’s problems as mental health ones. This leads to improper useof drugs – which can inhibit people from addressing their problems – as well asall that disempowerment which goes along with the typical mental healthapproach.”