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Antidepressant medication use in decline in Australia


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Antidepressant medication use in decline


15th May 2012


Lynnette Hoffman





ANTIDEPRESSANTS and anti-anxiety medication use has progressively decreased in Australia, even as rates of psychological distress remained constant, a study suggests.



Researchers reviewed Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian National Health Survey data of more than 48,000 adults aged over 25 between 2001 and 2008. Overall, they found prevalence of psychological distress was relatively stable, with the notable exception of people with comorbidities.


Psychological distress inc­reased from 5.9% to 7% in people with diabetes, and from 4.6% to 5% in people with cardiovascular disease. But reported use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication progressively declined in those groups too.


Deakin University professor of psychiatry Michael Berk said that may be due to the investment in Better Access.“One of the big changes might have been that with the Better Access system there would have been a shift from antidepressants as a primary treatment strategy to psychological treatments as primary,” he said. “More widespread access to psychological therapies has to be welcomed. In many ways it really does put Australia at the forefront of mental health reform.


“There are a couple of studies that have looked at the prevalence of depression in the UK and US, and prevalence rates in those studies seem to be rising, so it’s interesting that in Australia prevalence rates are flat,” he added.The study’s authors said a shift to more psychological treatments was just one of a number of plausible reasons for the changes.


Access to mental health services may not have corresponded proportionately to rising demand among people with comorbidities. One study showed that only 21% of people with CVD who had a 12-month affective and anxiety disorder used mental health services, for example.


As well, they said there may still be some stigma against seeking help, and questions over safety and efficacy of the drugs could be influencing prescribing habits.



I came off Seroxat in August 2005 after a 4 month taper. I was initially prescibed a benzo for several months and then Prozac for 5 years and after that, Seroxat for 3 years and 9 months.


"It's like in the great stories Mr.Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer."  Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

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This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I have my doubts on that one. But, here is an 'interesting' response by the Australian Psychological Society. They basically bag the efficacy of

AD's compared to CBT then at the end raise the prospect of them being give prescribing rights




ah the power of the professions



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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There's a pervasive belief that the most effective treatment is antidepressants combined with talk therapy.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I met a woman recently in her 60s who raised a grandson who was a "clearly ADD" kid. His mother had him at 16 and was on heroin throughout the pregnancy.

The doctor at the time - 25 years ago - said to the boy's grandmother: "Let's try diet first". It worked.


Are those docs gone forever?

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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