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Rise in depression prescriptions

More than four times as many prescriptions for antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2009 than 18 years before, according to newly published figures.

Some 39.1 million prescriptions were given out two years ago compared with nine million in 1991, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in the latest issue of its study, Social Trends.

In 2009/10 in England, more than one in 10 people (10.9%) were diagnosed with depression, while the condition affected 11.5% of the population of Northern Ireland, 8.6% in Scotland and 7.9% in Wales.

In England, in 2007, around one in six adults (17.6%) met the diagnostic criteria for at least one common mental disorder (CMD). These are mental conditions that cause marked emotional distress and interfere with daily function, such as different types of depression and anxiety.

Women are more likely than men to have a CMD (21.5% and 13.6% respectively).

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