Antidepressants on the rise – nutrition issue still sidelined

depression and antidepressants on the riseThe use of antidepressants has been on the rise for many years, across the world. The US tops the list of heaviest users, with a staggering 11% of citizens over the age of 12 taking some kind of antidepressant. Iceland, Australia, Canada and Denmark make up the top five, with the UK coming in at number 8 (with over 7% of over-12s using antidepressants).

The acceptability and perceived effectiveness of antidepressants in a given country is one important element in the statistics, along with other factors including culture, wealth, the availability of healthcare, and environment (geography, climate and the neigbourhoods where people live all play a part).

All of which is discussed in a recent article, Something startling is going on with antidepressant use across the world. The article highlights the fact that courses of treatment last longer than they used to, and are prescribed for mild depression, anxiety, social phobia, not just or severe depression.

1972 predictions depressingly true

The 1972 book What We Eat Today, by Professor Michael Crawford and Sheilagh Crawford predicted this worrying trend in mental ill-health. The authors warned of the hazards ahead in a world where nutrition ignored the fundamental importance of feeding a healthy brain.

Although antidepressant treatment is widely available, holistic mental healthcare and frequent monitoring are not. And any science-based holistic approach simply has to include nutrition.

A healthy brain is linked to a healthy diet. What a mother consumes, before and during pregnancy, will shape the brain development of her child. That’s a message that needs shouting from every rooftop in the world.

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