Charity campaigners are warning that many Britons do not fully understand the wider impact mental health issues can have on their work, lives and close relationships.
The warnings come after research from NHS Digital revealed that UK GPs are now prescribing more antidepressants and similar medications than ever before – with 64.7 million prescriptions handed out last year alone.
That figure – which is almost double the number of antidepressant prescriptions recorded ten years ago – suggests that mental health issues have become increasingly common in the UK in recent years.
However, psychiatrists and mental health campaigners say that many people who are seeking their GP’s advice about mental health, or taking antidepressants, do not fully understand the impact their mental health issues could have on their life in broader terms – and that many patients could benefit from greater advice and support.
Research from mental health charity Mind suggests that most Britons who are living with mental health conditions tend to experience significant changes once they start taking medication.
According to Mind’s research, 60 per cent of people who took antidepressants in 2017 felt that the drugs affected at least one key area of their life – while a further 48 per cent felt as if they had not been given adequate enough information about the side effects of the drugs they were prescribed.
Following these findings, campaigners are warning that Britons who are taking antidepressants should receive greater support from their GPs.
However, concerns have been raised that, at current, “there are not enough resources” in the NHS to address the problem.