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MIDWEEK MINDSET: People on antidepressants need more support and advice, campaigners say

Publication date: May 30, 2018 Author: By Gem Sofianos

People on anti-depressants need more support and advice, campaigners say

Mental health campaigners have said that people taking antidepressants should receive greater support and advice on the potential side effects.

According to ITV News, a record number of people are taking antidepressants, with some 64.7 million prescriptions issued last year in England, ‘almost twice as many handed out as a decade ago’.

Whilst experts claim the increase is partly due to rise in conversations and change in attitudes surrounding mental health, a leading mental health charity say ‘people are not being warned about the potential impact on key areas of their lives, including their work, sex life and close relationships’, the news site reports.

Speaking to ITV News, Michelle Lloyd said she was prescribed antidepressants after she experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression at university. 

‘I felt nauseous and couldn’t eat and lost a lot of weight,’ she said.

‘I found my anxiety levels increased and I became more detached from everyday activities because I felt so physically unwell. I then went on to have a period of self-harming – something that I had never done or even thought about before.

‘I was petrified about what was happening to me – these tablets that were supposed to be making me feel better were making me feel worse and I didn’t know what to do.’

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Student mental health problems ‘single biggest public health issue’, says university head

Mental health problems among students are the ‘single biggest public health issue’ for universities, the head of Bristol University has said.

Speaking to iNews, Vice -Chancellor Dr Hugh Brady blamed social media and its ‘constant use’ for the deterioration in mental health among students.

‘As a parent, as a doctor and as a Vice-Chancellor, I am struck by how that phone is almost the sixth digit of the hand,’ Brady said.

‘They are constantly getting visual and sensory alerts every second or minute of the day. I do worry about the sheer volume of sensory input they are receiving from their mobile devices.

‘A lot of us are worried about this perfectionism. You are no longer allowed to have a bad day on social media, you have to be seen to be happy.’

His comments come after the university has been affected by 10 suspected suicides in the past two years, including three in the past month.

‘One student death is a tragedy, to have a number really is of great concern to all of us. We’re all doing everything we can to support our students, but equally trying to understand why it is happening,’ Brady added.

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In case you missed it….

NHS using targeted ads to tackle mental health – The NHS is using online advertising to target people who may show signs of mental health problems but are not seeking help.

Brighter girls and girls from poorer families more likely to be depressed – A new survey suggests brighter girls and girls from poorer families are more likely to be depressed by the time they reach adolescence.

Three in four people overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress – A study by the Mental Health Foundation found that in the past year 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Disruption of sleep and daily rhythms linked to mental health problems – A study of more than 90,000 people by scientists at the University of Glasgow has found that people who experience disruptions to their body clock risk developing mood disorders.