- Sport and Wellbeing: The Importance of Exercise for Combatting Stress, Part One
- Sport and Wellbeing: The Importance of Exercise for Combatting Stress, Part Two
- Impulsivity Can Be A Side Effect of Medication, But Is It A Good Thing?
- Mental Health: Ways to Get Help Over the Summer Holidays
- 92% of Students Report Feelings of Mental Distress
- Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Confession of an Anorexic
- Eating Disorders: Realisations and Recovery
- Is it Me?: The Realities of Depression
- Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Hypochondria
- Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Bipolar Disorder
- Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Dermatillomania
- Anxiety, Depression and the Year Abroad: Part 2
- Anxiety, Depression and the Year Abroad: Part 1
- Getting It Straight: What You Didn’t Know About OCD
- Mental Illness, Katie Hopkins, and Me
- OCD: Washing Away the Stigma
- The Germanwings Co-Pilot and the Stigma of Mental Illness
- You Say Adventure, I Say Ordeal
- 8 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Depressed Person
- Eating Disorders and the Media: What Are ‘Real’ Women?
- How To Help A Panic Attack
- How to Survive a Mid-Year Crisis
- The University of Southampton Needs To Do More for Mental Health
- 5 Ways to Get Involved With Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016
- Winter Blues: It’s A Real Thing
- Elephant in The Corner: Social Anxiety
- Victory over Vehophobia: How to Overcome a Fear of Driving
- Let’s Talk About Homesickness
- Your Guide to Managing a Fresher’s State of Mind
- Study Finds Exam Pressure To Be The Cause of Mental Health Problems In Pupils
- Time to Talk Day – What’s it All About?
- University’s Research into Mental Health Treatment Goes Deeper
- World Mental Health Day: Reducing Stigma & Finding Support
The University of Southampton has announced its involvement with a NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) funded study aiming to help patients withdraw from unnecessary long-term antidepressant treatment.
Professor of Primary Care at the university, Tony Kendrick, has suggested that between 30% and 50% of patients who are taking prescribed antidepressants could be given an alternative treatment and avoid the side effects of medication.
Over the past 10 years, antidepressant prescribing rates have greatly increased with now more than a staggering 60 million prescriptions being issued in England each year.
Professor Kendrick is leading the new £2.4 million six year study to identify safe and economical ways of helping mental health patients through the difficult process of withdrawing from the use of long-term antidepressants.
“We appreciate that stopping antidepressants is not easy. Withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety and low mood, are usually temporary but feel similar to the reason why patients were first put on antidepressants. Therefore people are understandably reluctant to come off the medication – they feel like they’ve slipped back again.” – Professor Kendrick.
Given that Wessex Scene recently uncovered that 81% of Southampton students have been affected by a mental health problem, news of this study is very encouraging to hear. While the prescription of antidepressants can be an extremely effective treatment for illnesses like depression and anxiety, the looming prospect of withdrawal symptoms results in many patients continuing to take their medication for far longer than is perhaps needed
Professor Kendrick believes this intervention will highlight cases in which the prescription of antidepressants may not even be necessary in the first place. He hopes that the study will “identify where alternative treatment methods could be best used” and that the programme could result in the publishing of practical guidance for both patients and professionals.