According to the National Health Service (NHS), the number of prescriptions for children and adolescents has also increased, reports the BBC.
From 2021-22, the number of adults receiving them increased by 5 percent – from 7.9 million in the previous 12 months to 8.3 million.
This is the sixth year in a row that there has been an increase in both patients and prescriptions.
An estimated 83.4 million antidepressant drug items were prescribed between 2021 and 2022, a 5 percent increase from the previous year, the report said.
There was also an increase of more than 8 percent among youth taking the drug – from 10,994 to 11,878 among 10- to 14-year-olds and from 166,922 to 180,455 among 15- to 19-year-olds.
“The crisis of the pandemic and the cost of living means we should undoubtedly be concerned about the current pressures on people’s mental health,” Alexa Knight, who is in charge of policy at the charity Rethink Mental Illness, was quoted as saying.
“But the increasing number of antidepressant prescriptions may also be a welcome indicator that people feel more comfortable seeking support when they need it,” Knight said.
She mentioned that it is important that people are offered different treatments depending on the severity of their depression.
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