Rowenna Davis
The Guardian
June 12, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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The number of antidepressants prescribed by the NHS has almost doubled in the last decade, and rose sharply last year as the recession bit, figures reveal.

The health service issued 39.1m prescriptions for drugs to tackle depression in England in 2009, compared with 20.1m in 1999 – a 95% jump. Doctors handed out 3.18m more prescriptions last year than in 2008, almost twice the annual rise seen in preceding years, according to previously unpublished statistics released by the NHS’s Business Services Authority.

The increase is thought to be due in part to improved diagnosis, reduced stigma around mental ill-health and rising worries about jobs and finances triggered by the economic downturn.

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