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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Antidepressants hits high

15th May 2007

Figures have revealed the number of prescriptions for antidepressants in England have reached an all-time high.


The Information Centre has released figures showing that in 2006, over 31 million antidepressant prescriptions were given to patients. This represents a 6% rise on the previous year.

In 2004, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that antidepressants should not be prescribed as a primary resource for mild to moderate depression. NICE said patients should first be offered therapy and self-help.

Mind, the mental health charity, says the UK's treatment of patients with depression lags behind other countries. In many European countries, depressed patients are prescribed agricultural work.

The charity's report on "ecotherapy" - where patients are encouraged to exercise outside in a natural setting - stated that 93% of GPs have prescribed drugs due to a shortage of alternatives.

A survey of 108 people taking part in outdoor activities organised by local Mind associations revealed that 94% of the particpants said green activities had helped their depression.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said ecotherapy was a viable treatment option: "We're not saying that ecotherapy can replace drugs but the debate needs to be broadened."

Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "GPs consider the need for antidepressants only after a careful assessment of the patients' clinical condition."

"The real story is the lack of access to services such as talking therapies and the long waiting lists for these. GPs find themselves in a difficult position because of limited services."


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Edward Hutchinson

Thursday 17th May 2007 @ 13:20

The evidence for a link between Vitamin d status and depression is set out here.

The fact is that in Winter in the UK most (9 our of 10) adults are Vitamin D insufficient. See Hypovitaminosis D in British adults at age 45 years

In previous years I was badly affected with SAD in Winter. Since ensuring I keep my Vit D3 status high by consuming as much Vit d3 as my body uses, see http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/77/1/204 Human serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol response to extended oral dosing with cholecalciferol, I've had no problem with SAD at all. Anyone who thinks Vit d3 at this level is toxic needs to read this Risk assessment for vitamin D http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/1/6

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