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Humanist, humorist

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fascinating article in today's Herlad

Depressing, isn't it? In modern Britain, happiness comes in a blister pack. The richer we become, the more pills we pop to stave off depression. Last year there were 31 million prescriptions for anti-depressants, up 6% on the previous year - figures the government announced last month in such a sotto voce whisper, that nobody noticed them until the mental health charity Mind reproduced them in a report this week. If each prescription represents a four-week supply, that's 868 million happy pills. It cost the NHS £291.5m, up threefold on 1993 in real money.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

The closing paragraph pretty much sums it all up:

"Two studies out this week come down on the side of "ecotherapy", such as a daily walk in the park or countryside. In much of Europe agricultural work is used as a treatment for mental distress. The Dutch health service includes 600 "care farms". All credit to the SNP for including in its manifesto a target of reducing prescriptions for anti-depressants by 10%. Now it has the reins of power, Alex Salmond must put his money where his mouth is and spend new money on alternatives. We also need a public information campaign warning of the possible side-effects of anti-depressants and lauding non-drug-based treatments. I'm grateful to my GP for not reaching for his pad. We talked and shortly afterwards I took up jogging, the ultimate "feel good" exercise. OK. So now I'm addicted to running but give me trainers over Seroxat any day."

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