We keep on taking the pills

orange_medication_bottle_blue_white_pills_1600_wht_1953I’ve previously written about the fact that prescriptions for depression, anxiety and sleeping problems had increased dramatically over the last few years.

I’ve also posted about psychotherapy or talking therapies being as effective as medication (see original post below).

Now there’s more evidence that that is true. See this post “Psychotherapy just as effective at beating the blues”

Original post from August 2012

According to data from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre more than 43 million prescriptions were dispensed in 2010, a 28% increase from the previous 3 years. Prescriptions for anxiety were also up by 8% and up 3% for sleeping problems.

And things haven’t improved. Last year total prescriptions for anti-depressants alone increased to around 47 million, almost 10% up on the previous year, at a cost of £2 billion.

The NorthWest has the highest use of anti-depressants and sleeping medication. It may be no coincidence that this has been a period of economic downturn with many job losses – which contribute to mental health problems.

The mental health charity MIND points out that there has been a steady increase for the last decade as people are more open about their mental health problems and GPs have become more adept at spotting the symptoms.

Unfortunately doctors may see medication as a quick fix because waiting lists for talking therapies are so long – 20% of patients wait for up to a year.

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said; “Doctors may just be relying on anti-depressant prescribing rather than offering patients alternative evidence-based interventions such as psychological therapies or exercise prescriptions”.

The posts you liked most in 2012

100%Thanks to the back office helpers at WordPress I now know which of my posts were actually read by you last year , my first full year with this blog.

I wrote 40 new posts making a total of 110 so far. I intended to write one a week but got distracted by tweeting!

Each one has at least one picture which I hope you find interesting as 99% of them are my own work from my travels around Europe.

My readers come from 48 different countries, mostly from the UK closely followed by the USA and Lithuania.

My 5th most popular post was: “We keep taking the pills” from August 2012. This was about our over-reliance on medication to treat anxiety and depression.

My 4th most popular post was: “Coffee, Joe, Java, Kava” from December 2011. This was about coffee’s increasing popularity.

My 3rd most popular post was: “Chocoholics? Could be true!” from September 2012. We all love chocolate and now you might have an excuse.

My 2nd most popular post was: “Talk to your children and have a social life” from May 2012. The importance of communicating with children to give them a better future.

My most popular post by a narrow margin was: “Cleanliness” from August 2012. Research shows that children brought up in cleaner homes do better in life generally. Start the little monkeys early I say and buy them a cleaning toy!

 So thank you everyone for reading, liking, or following me. Each time I publish a post it goes on twitter @uLearn2BU or you can subscribe on this site.

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!