'Anti-depressants are serious pills for serious illness, not just feeling down', says author

'Anti-depressants are serious pills for serious illness, not just feeling down', says author

A study claims anti-depressants are effective (Stock image)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Medication for depression is "serious: and should only be used for "serious illness," an author who's been through depression has warned.

A study has found 21 common anti-depressants are more effective at reducing depression symptoms than dummy tablets. However, it also showed significant differences in the effectiveness of each drug.

Mark Rice-Oxley, the author of Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior: "I think these are serious pills for people with serious illness it’s not just about feeling a little bit down.

"These pills are or should be a kind of stop gap, an insulation, a period of calm which enables you then to address 'why did I fall ill in the first place?'"

The Guardian columnist thinks depression "affects both genders equally but men just do not have the emotional vocabulary to be able to confront it" so it appears more prevalent in women.

He thinks the NHS wasn't set up to deal with ongoing mental health problems and thus "we need to think of different ways of addressing what is clearly some kind of epidemic."

But the author would "like to see a lot more emphasis on preventing this" and thinks "we need to do some work in our schools to say good enough is good enough sometimes."

He explained he'd seen find children playing sport stressful as their dads shout from the touchline because they "want them to be the next Neymar" and in work if your boss is being "very difficult and very bossy, you need to look after number one."

Listen to the full interview above