Britain 'is true Prozac Nation'

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Britain 'is true Prozac Nation'

Post by Chezzie »

Britain is a "Prozac Nation" facing a crisis in mental health care, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will warn.

In a speech later he will say the over-use of pills and poor mental health services are failing the public.

The party has obtained figures showing waits of more than two years for some counselling and psychotherapy services.

Mr Clegg said the Lib Dems would guarantee treatment within 13 weeks. The government guarantees hospital, but not community care, within 18 weeks.


In a speech to The Guardian Public Services Summit in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Mr Clegg will say: "Britain has become the true Prozac Nation. I believe this trend has gone too far.

"We must cut the number of anti-depressants prescribed by doctors. Pills must not be a crutch for the wider issues in our society which cause mental health problems."

The Lib Dems questioned over 100 NHS trusts - receiving 33 replies - about the psychology, counselling, psychotherapy and eating disorders help they provide.

Three years is too long to make someone wait for help that could transform their life, possibly even save their life

Paul Farmer, of Mind

'I walked streets screaming'

They asked the trusts for data on the longest waits they had for the non-emergency treatment.

Psychotherapy and counselling services had the longest waits with six trusts recording waits of more than two years. Overall, the longest wait recorded by each trust averaged out at seven months.

The findings, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, come as hospital patients face shorter and shorter waits.

By the end of this year, trusts have to ensure all patients are seen within 18 weeks.

But this does not cover community care, such as the mental health services for people with conditions like depression.

Private treatment

The Lib Dems believe this should be rectified with leader Nick Clegg expected to set out a range of policies on Friday to help people needing mental health treatment.

If elected, the Lib Dems pledge treatment within 13 weeks and if that target was missed patients would have the right to private treatment.

Experts have blamed the long waits in mental health care for the soaring rates of antidepressant drug prescriptions.

More than 31 million prescriptions for drugs such as Prozac were issued in England in 2006 after an almost continuous rise over the last 10 years.

Mr Clegg said he recognised there was a role for medication, but that it should not be the default option.

'False economy'

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "Three years is too long to make someone wait for help that could transform their life, possibly even save their life.

"Scrimping on basic mental health services is a false economy. If someone can't get help when they first need it, their health will deteriorate, and they will require more intensive care later on."

But a Department of Health spokesman said: "We are continuing to work towards improving access to mental health services and specifically psychological therapies, where we know capacity is particularly challenged."

She said £170m of extra funding for psychological therapies would mean an extra 900,000 will get treatment for conditions such as depression and anxiety over the next three years.
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Britain 'is true Prozac Nation'

Post by Fire »

Hi Chezzie I would think that news item would depress people even more.

I am one of the statistics Im afraid. I have had depression for several years but I will not fill my body with chemicals just to see me through. I have seen my doctor some time ago but I do not believe that these so called psychologists could really help me. My parents, particularly my mother, are my best helpers. They know me and they talk with me when ever I need. My mother bless her has stayed talking with me all night many times and has talked me through my anxiety till I am calm and feel more comfortable. I have been off work now because of my illness for a few years but I feel I have improved because mainly of my mum's help. I know I give her such a hard time when I loose it but those dont happen as often now. The things I say to her at those times are so cruel and now I have just found out that she is going to the doctor today to get help for herself and that is mostly down to me and I feel so bad about that to be the main cause of my mum on the way to having a breakdown. We just need to get away from the city and trying to get our house ready to sell and maybe things will be less stressful then. I saw the title so I read your post Chezzie and it is so bad that people who are ill like me and now my mum I think have to wait for treatment so long just because the illness is not as obvious as missing a leg is. My mum is out at the moment with my dad otherwise she would have been on here I expect. It is her laptop. I find help and distraction on the other computer playing games takes me away from the torments of the real world for a while and it is a help. She often talks about her friends on here and reads out the jokes and I recognised your name as one. I very rarely come on forum garden it really dosnt appeal to me that much. I think I was just being nosey but mums got a code to get into hers and I dont know it so I came on mine to have a look around. There were not many on today on the one my mum usually goes on so I looked around and found this, so I hope you dont mind listening to my ramblings.
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Britain 'is true Prozac Nation'

Post by Chezzie »

Hi Fire, Well im glad you did pop on and see my post and took the time and courage to reply. Sorry to hear your depression isnt getting under control and my intention wasnt to post and make people more miserable so if your feeling that way I apologise. Wish I had a magic cure but I dont.

The trouble with everything these days is some peeps have a bad day, cant cope and go the docs who prescribes drugs, this doesnt help them as they dont need drugs, it then spoils it for the really sick people who do.

I suffered with mild depression myself back in 2001 after losing my 3rd child. Luckily I got the help I needed but I hurt people along the way, I still have off days, we all do though eh. I like to think I got through relatively unscathed so no reason why you cant either, sounds like you have the foundations set with a great family to support you.

I hope you get to sell the house and get to move away and start afresh Fire.

We have some really nice members here Fire, you should pop by more often. x:-6
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