Thyroid UK
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Record numbers on 'happy pills'

The number of members who say their GP offered anti-depressants has always been high. We might very often suggest that treating the organic issues - most obviously thyroid issues - would be far more helpful. Now the subject of anti-depressant seems to have been noticed more widely.

Record numbers on 'happy pills'

Psychiatrists warning over soaring use of pills in 'depressed Britain'

Britons are taking anti-depressants in greater quantities than ever before, new figures have disclosed, with a near 25 per cent rise in prescriptions in the last three years alone.

According to official NHS data, more than 53 million prescriptions were handed out for drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat in England last year - a record high, and a rise of 24.6 per cent since 2010.

It means the UK now has the seventh highest prescribing rate for antidepressants in the Western world, with around four million Britons taking them each year - twice as many as a decade ago.

Experts warned that many Britons were becoming hooked on the drugs and suggested that increasing numbers were turning to medication in the wake of the credit crunch to treat anxiety disorders.

More here:

telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/10...

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I agree Helvella that people are more likely to be given anti-d's or other prescriptions due to them appearing in the surgery too often and not being diagnosed with hypo due to the TSH not reaching 10 and not doing a FTFT. Even people who are hypo are given anti-d's but never have the FT4 and FT3 checked.

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That last sentence really makes me angry. Yet another example of 'blame the patient'. 'Britons' wouldn't get 'hooked' on the drugs, nor be 'turning to medication' if GPs didn't prescribe them in the first place.

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Earlier today I replied on another thread:

From the same source I quoted earlier, "anti-depressants" were mentioned on 460 death certificates in 2016 - more than any other identified "drug" except Heroin and/or morphine. About 12% of all drug-related deaths.

ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulation...

As well as my post of a few days ago - saying they had no idea how to select which anti-depressant to prescribe:

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

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One of my friends recently committed suicide, she was on anti depressants and the PIL said on the side affects " may cause suicide " Im utterly shocked they would give someone who is suicidal a tablet that has that on the side affects !

I don/t feel good on antidepressants they made me depressed, i have had them prescribed loads of times but i refuse them now , hyperthyroid I was prescribed them and made me go bananas...

Then Hypo just even more miserable and lazier..

Is it true GPs get over a £1000 each time they get someone on anti depressants ?

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Pascha1,

Sorry about your friend.

Afraid I do not know what incentive GPs receive. The only one I could find quickly was £55 for dementia diagnosis.

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GPs get extra money for prescribing anti depressants and follow up checks!! NOTHING for anymthyroid medication or diagnosis. Pity that!!!

janveron1

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Pascha - really sorry for your loss.

unfortunately in someone who is genuinely clinically depressed the recovery period is one where there is a high risk of suicide - when the depression is really bad you don't have the energy to carry out the intention but as things improve your energy levels rise but your mood takes longer.

Anti-depressants get handed out like placebos but they are a drug that requires careful monitoring. They are seen as a quick fix. They aren't

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I read this tweet earlier today :

twitter.com/DrKateLovett/st...

The author of the tweet describes herself as "Dean of Royal College of Psychiatrists. Consultant Psychiatrist. "

What I find amazing is that a psychiatrist can deny that anti-depressants are addictive!

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'If you need a prescription you are being cared for not fobbed off'

The clue is in the word 'need'. Who makes that judgement? Surely it is ultimately the prescriber!

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And:

Surely the real story is “UK GPs best in the world at recognizing and treating a common but disabling (and sometimes fatal) mental illness”

... whilst waltzing on past thyroid and other possible issues without even a glimmer of recognition that they could be the cause.

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Might it have have something to do with the nice bonus GP's get for diagnosing depression?

We see 100's on here with clear physical problems, dire vitamin levels.....only treatment offered .....anti .....f***ing depressants

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SlowDragon,

I intensely dislike the imposition of mandatory procedures which can, at times, stop a good doctor doing what really is needed. But I get very close to calling for some tests to be absolutely required prior to any anti-depressant being prescribed. Not surprisingly, I'd put thyroid up at the top - and also B12. (My ignorance stops me making decent list of other issues.)

I guess the next problems would be tests that are incomplete (such as no FT4 and no FT3) followed by failures in their interpretation. :-(

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The new NICE guidelines MUST include full testing including FT3 and vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12.

Current treatment is a complete joke

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They say anything to fob off patients and make their lives easier.... have no faith in any of them. Patients need to be more assertive in telling them they do not need anti-depressants but a decent and accurate diagnosis in order to get the help and treatment they need.

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JGBH That’s just what I did but it was a real final desperate act going to see the GP. I just told him I’m hypothyroid and I want a thyroid function test - why? - I have the most terrible depression immaginable, so bad it is like a huge great suffocating black cloud that will not lift. Then I was offered antidepressants and I just said look this is well beyond anything antidepressants can help. Luckily he listened and I explained more about my family history of hypothyroidism and how wretchedly ill I was feeling and after that he moved heaven and earth to help me - he really was fantastic. But it was hard for me to even go and see a GP I believed I was a crazy hypochondriac after all the things I had gone about (all real and symptoms of hypothyroidism that were not recognised over decades) and eventually gave up on seeing anyone and just suffered it coming up with absurd explanations for my ever growing symptoms. In the end I think I knew subconsciously I was going to die if I did not get help fast, but with overt hypo it can be like turning into a shadow just surviving minute to minute dealing with bouts of really crazy behaviour and horrible symptoms all of which makes it difficult to fight your corner. If I had just said ok and taken those antidepressants I doubt I’d be here now. I was plied with them when the Levothyroxine did not make me fully better (different practice/GP due to moving) yet NDT got rid of all those symptoms. It is not a good scene.

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TSH110,

Well done you! Believe me I really do know how hard it is to fight your own corner when you feel so unwell, so weak, so vulnerable and very scared. Especially when the majority of doctors are not listening to you and are hell bent in prescribing antidepressants.... So glad your willpower made sure you were listened to by a decent GP (there are a few decent ones, but rare) and that you are slowly recovering some health. It is so important that patients refuse to be pushed down, bulied and ignored by gps... but it does take perseverance and courage and patients must not feel intimidated by doctors. Patients need to show doctors we won't be treated like idiots who can be fobbed off, manupulatedd to suit them and ignored.

You can give yourself a great pat on the back!

Best wishes to you for a much better health.

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It's a really bad issue.

I'm repeating this from the other day: davidhealy.org/the-night-be...

More on Rxisk & David Healey's websites.

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He has some some wisdom on the matter.

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Pity the rest of the psychiatric & psychology industry take no B****Y notice of what he writes! >:(

I've not spotted anything he's written re THs & depression. I wonder if he'd get on board with TUK as he seems like a very decent chap? :)

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He is BadHare aware of their over-prescribing and that he is currently writing a book. This was in his blog some time ago, I think it was a response to a comment made. I find it reassuring and hope you do too.

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I meant with regard to treating with T3, rather than anti-depressant pills. :-)

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