Sharing – Antidepressant use in England soars as pandemic cuts counselling access

This is not great. Medication can be incredibly helpful, but it’s really not a “fix” for depression.

“Lucy Schonegevel, the deputy campaigns director at the mental health charity Rethink, said there was a “big risk of antidepressants being prescribed with no support”, adding that such medications should “go hand in hand” with therapy.

Her concerns were echoed by the mental health campaigner Natasha Devon, who said: “People are going to their GPs with symptoms of mental illness and being sent away with a bag of medication, having been put on an 18-month waiting list.””

Full disclosure, I spent a few years taking antidepressants. They were part of my healing, but those years coincided with my time in therapy. The meds were there to prevent me from going too far into dissociation and suicidal thoughts, but no one ever suggested that I could simply take them and walk away healthy. They were a safety net, not a cure. Healing took much more, and apparently, in the UK that actual healing work is woefully under-resourced.

This is probably true everywhere else as well. It was true even before 2020 came along. It’s only gotten worse.

What are we going to do about it? What can we do about it?

It’s going to take some real creative planning, hard work, and hard conversations to solve this problem. I’m not sure enough people are willing to do that.

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