More People Used Antidepressants During England’s Recession

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Last Updated: May 29, 2014

There were 12.5 million more antidepressant pills prescribed during the financial crisis and recession in 2012 in England, according to study.

According to a research conducted by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, there is a long-term increasing trend in antidepressant prescription from 1998’s 15 million to 2012’s 40 million. This trend had a sudden surge when England suffered from the recession and banking crisis in 2012.

The report published last Wednesday stated that antidepressant prescriptions rose as unemployment rate increased. Prescription for the pill is also significantly high in area with poor housing.

Health Foundation Director of Research Nick Barber said it was the most insightful and accurate medication study in England. It also raises question of how appropriately are people being treated.  Using the medical resources properly is one of the main economic issues during the time of the recession.

The increase in unemployment rates and higher cost of living may have a big impact on the rising cases of mental health problems among the people. According to the researchers, the way these people re treated should be changed, though they are still not sure what type of changes should be done.

Despite the government giving more funding for the program called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), there was still a significant increase in antidepressant prescriptions.

Barber said, IAPT might be young since it was just established in 2008, or there may be delays in the program. The delays may cause doctors and physicians to prescribe antidepressants instead.

According to Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation’s program called Quality Watch, for 14 years, the rise of antidepressants prescribed is on a higher rate compared to the increase of depression in the England.

One of the major positive effects of this research outcome is it can encourage more research on the antidepressant pills and determine what actions should be taken to address depression.

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