New data from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme shows three million Australians – that’s one in every eight people, including 100,000 children, are now reliant on anti-depressants.
The data shows people aged 38-57 were most likely to be using anti-depressants and has prompted concerns Australia is over-diagnosing and over-treating depression.
A new watchdog on mental health, Psychwatch Australia is asking the question: ‘Why is the Lucky Country so miserable?’ when we are consistently ranked near the top of the World happiness ratings and it points to 4 reasons why so many of us are taking antidepressant medication:
- We have a flawed model for diagnosing depression and other psychiatric disorders.
- Most anti-depressants prescribing is done by time-poor GPs with limited mental health training and few other options.
- Increasing demands for government to provide or subsidise mental health interventions. Plus for cash-strapped governments, the appeal of quick, cheap mental health treatments is irresistible.
- Problems with estimating how prevalent depression is within Australia.
For more information on this, check out the blog post: