One in Six Adults Battling Anxiety & Depression
The figures from their survey also show that women are more likely than men to have ‘common mental disorder’ symptoms (which comprises of different types of depression and anxiety) and women are also more likely than men to report severe symptoms.
And in another report, NHS Digital cite that prescription items for anti depressants showed the greatest numeric rise in 2016 (for the fourth year in a row), with 64.7 million anti depressant items dispensed. As they report, “The number of antidepressant items has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2016, there were 64.7 million antidepressant items dispensed – 33.7 million (108.5 per cent) more than in 2006, when there were 31.0 million.” (Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2006-2016, NHS Digital).
That’s a lot of pills being prescribed for anxiety and depression to adults in England. And it goes hand in hand with the increasing number of people reporting that they are struggling with mental health symptoms (and the likelihood is, in my opinion, that the true number of people struggling with anxiety and depression is likely much higher given that not everyone will report it).
When I talk with fellow hypnotherapists, and indeed practitioners of other psychological therapies, I encounter many of them who dismiss the need for anti depressants altogether and who advocate engaging in therapeutic interventions only. Several of them seem to have an impression of GPs handing out pills left, right and centre without any regard for their patient!
Personally I don’t believe that to be the general case at all. Putting aside issues around how much time GPs have with their patients and NHS funding levels for therapy, of course GPs want the best for their patients and in many cases it may be that anti depressants provide some relief from the fog of anxiety and depression.
I’ve worked with many clients where anti depressants (once they have gone through any initial discomfort and side effects) provide enough relief for them to benefit from therapy so they can take control over their thoughts and feelings and get to a point of being strong enough to go back to their GP and discuss reducing medication with a view to ultimately ceasing it (which should always be done in conjunction with their GP). Of course, I’ve also worked with others who find little help from their medication and those who do not wish to take medication.
The fact is that learning to take control over thought patterns, feelings and emotions can help someone to get back a sense of control and become stronger and more reliant for the future. How a person tackles and overcomes their mental health issue has to be an individual thing based upon that person’s needs and goals rather than the ‘this is good and that is bad’ type of attitude that I see displayed by some therapists.
The figures suggest that more and more people are struggling with anxiety and depression. The more open we can be about this and the more we all view mental health issues in the same way as physical problems, the better.
In any effective treatment programme for battling anxiety, a person is likely to need to take some positive action and make some (often simple) changes to how they perceive things and structure their life.
However, all of that only comes after someone takes the brave decision to seek help.
With World Mental Health Day approaching, now is the time for all of us to make sure we have an open and positive attitude around mental health, to offer support where we can and to seek help if we need it.
To your success,
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