Log In
Friday 21st October 2016

Doctors should stop giving drugs to depressed

25th November 2009

Senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry Dr Jennifer Wild says doctors should help depressed people seek alternative treatment to drugs.


As therapy is more likely to help depressed people get better and stay better than drugs, doctors need to stop pushing pills and prescribe treatments that work.

Six million UK people suffer anxiety and depression but most do not want to take drugs.

They want cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which has long-lasting results.

Evidence shows that recovery occurs when you change people’s thoughts. Drugs do get results, but they can be short-lived and have side effects such as insomnia, agitation, vomiting and nausea.

Doctors need to improve how they assess depression and offer treatments that address a change in thinking style though a recent BMJ study indicates that doctors are not enthusiastic about using screening questionnaires to assess depression, even though there are incentives to do so.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative is expanding the availability of psychological treatments for people with depression and anxiety and 115 out of England's 154 primary care trusts now have an IAPT service.

Aggressive marketing has expanded the use of drugs for mental health problems and prescribing rates are rising but best practice guidelines state that drugs can be offered with a therapy like CBT for moderate to severe depression.

With IAPT there is room for change but only if GPs get on board with therapies like CBT.

It would reduce incidence of relapse and the cost of long-term drug treatment as well as offering patients what they want.


Share this page



Thursday 3rd December 2009 @ 7:39

As a patient with depression I find the CBT does not actually work. Why I say this is because it simply does not receive the recognition that it possibly should do. Thus, it is not prescribed.

Patients like myself are often left with out any medical intervention, once the drug therapy has been stopped.

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2016