NHS Digital recently published data on the record number of prescriptions for antidepressants provided by the NHS last year - more than double over the last decade. The figures have prompted discussion as to whether they are being prescribed too freely or if there are other factors such as better diagnosis, reduced stigma etc.
Consultant Psychiatrist and Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Kate Lovett provided a comment on the value of antidepressants for The Guardian, the Daily Mail and 300 other regional titles.
Kate says: "For many milder episodes of depression, talking therapies will be recommended as the first line. There is evidence that for people who have recurrent episodes of depression longer use of antidepressants reduces incidence of relapse and in certain situations this will be clinically appropriate. Antidepressants are used in the treatment of both depression and anxiety disorders. They are an evidence-based treatment for moderate to severe depression and their prescription should be reviewed regularly in line with clear national guidance."