One in three women will take anti-depressants during her lifetime

Shocking figures show that more women than ever are resorting to anti-depressants to lift their moods

One in three women has turned to anti-depressants to improve mental health, according to a shocking new study. Experts, however, fear drugs may not always be the answer.

‘These shocking figures reveal an escalating crisis in women’s use of anti-depressants,’ says Rebecca Gill, of women’s campaign group Platform 51.

‘Anti-depressants have a role to play but they are too readily prescribed as the only remedy.’

The study involved a survey of over 2,000 adults in England and Wales and found that 57 per cent of women who have taken anti-depressants in the past were not offered any alternatives.

Anti-depressants are often prescribed to increase the levels of chemicals in the brain, but they cannot tackle what caused the depression initially. Experts have expressed concerns that doctors are prescribing these drugs prematurely, and unnecessarily.

‘Three in five women are offered no alternative to drugs at their reviews, and one in four currently on anti-depressants have waited more than a year for review,’ continues Ms Gill.

Surprisingly, 18 per cent of women kept their prescription secret from their families, and 10 per cent didn’t tell their partner.

Ms Gill says: ‘Our research suggests that there is still a huge stigma attached to poor mental health. With so many women not telling their families, it is clear that women fear they will be judged on the state of their mental health.’

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