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Antidepressant use climbs in Sweden

TT/The Local · 31 Mar 2011, 15:43

Published: 31 Mar 2011 15:43 GMT+02:00

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The number of patients on anti-depressants increased by more than two percent from 2009 to 2010, with the number of the daily doses up by four percent.

The board has meanwhile developed new guidelines to encourage therapy in order to the tackle the condition, although they have not yet had an impact on healthcare statistics.

The statistics show that more than 500,000 women and 257,000 men were given antidepressant medication in 2010. In 2009, the equivalent figures were 490,000 and 250,000. Representing an increase of two percent across the board.

The number of daily doses of prescription medication increased for women by 3.7 percent, from 159-165 million, and for men by 4.3 percent, from 84-88 million.

The welfare board is not surprised at the increase.

The board aims to cut the prescription of antidepressants in the longer term, but there is little prospect of this in the short term as it will take time for the new guidelines to take effect.

"Already when we made the proposal, most experts agreed that this would take time. The challenge is to develop competence across the country and this takes a long time, several years," said Lena Weilandt at the welfare board.

Story continues below…

"That an effect would be registered now was not to be expected," she said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:05 March 31, 2011 by rohermoker
As a person who takes anti depressants, when my health insurance stops paying for them I will use what people used for centauries, alcohol. The way Swedes tax alcohol I don't know if you can afford it.
16:13 March 31, 2011 by lili2010
I have a proposal for the new guidelines: try to decrease the rate of divorce in Sweden. The main source of depression is problems within relationships!
16:41 March 31, 2011 by Rishonim
Here are a few reason for depression in Sweden: boring winter, lack of human interaction, poor social skills, ugly spouse, poor finance, crappy produce, ugly buildings, bad food, cheap people, Tvättstuga, bad TV. descent parks, lack of style, systembolaget, wide-hips women, small Swedish towns etc etc....
16:56 March 31, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I was offered anti-depressants 10 years ago; I refused - have never taken them. The result is the miserable git I am now. LOL!

I took up more 'physical' activity like carpentry, bread-making and playing the banjo. More than this, I tried to create a 'parallel universe' through creating images in my paintings - can escape into it!

Maybe this is all 'fag packet' philosophy to some but it worked for me.

Am always struck by the contrast between the 'successful' society Sweden is (on the surface) and indicators to the contrary posed by increased anti-depressant use.
18:07 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
I use excercise. I run from tavern to tavern.
18:42 March 31, 2011 by Tanskalainen
A disciplined regimen of masturbation and prayer should work. Otherwise there's always the bullet in the woods.
18:46 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
I always pray that I won't have to masturbate.
19:50 March 31, 2011 by mikewhite
Antidepressant drugs aren't only used to treat depression, they have other effects they can be prescribed for.

Plus in Sweden you need prescriptions for what are over the counter medicines elsewhere.
20:28 March 31, 2011 by EP
And despite the increase in anti-depressant use, the majority of the Swedes are still miserable, cold, lifeless and boring. So why even prescribe them in the first place?
21:50 March 31, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Try learning to sing Joik style (it couldn't hurt).
22:11 March 31, 2011 by johnny1939
Looking at the tv ads for antidepressants in the US makes you really depressed and I would never bother to try them. Instead I read the Local and all your comments. while I masturbate and drink Vodka...works for me.
23:35 March 31, 2011 by Eroth
@mikewhite, True, and in some cases they add around 10000% to the price, like with melatonin. In Sweden one month worth of melatonin costs me bout 900kr and when i imported from US it cost 10kr a month. To bad i cant get any past customs since the took a order a while back.
06:54 April 1, 2011 by Zhorka
Pro-american elite systematically destroys traditional Swedish values which predictably leads to depression among fair Swedes.
10:01 April 1, 2011 by nyh2o
this is no news. how can you live in sweden and not be depressed? one of the top reasons for depression is boredom and thats in plentyful everywhere in sweden. its just sooo yawn. everyone looks the same. has or pretends to have the same points of view. think they are very internatinal because of their last vacation to thailand in an all swedish hotel. cant hold an interesting conversation unless they're drunk - and even then its about something mind numbingly dull. yawn. yawn. yawn. im getting depressed just talking about this.
10:30 April 1, 2011 by lili2010
nyh2o, why are you in Sweden then?I think they have something interesting, right?
11:36 April 1, 2011 by johnny1939
Having been and lived in various foreign places, I can not recall that other peoples of the world are more riveting and charming. People are the same until one gets to know them better and they feel comfortable to be free w/ their conversation and thoughts. It takes time to make friends w/ a Swede but once you do so you have a friend for ever. So there!
11:52 April 1, 2011 by nyh2o
nothing interesting lili2010 :). its a necessary stopover for a few years on way to more interesting places.

and johny1939 - i agree with you that theres always a necessary investment in making a friend anywhere, but you havent lived in asia, africa or latin america - or even the united states if you say other people are not more riveting or charming or easier to make friends with. even the uk is much better than sweden in this respect. it is most likely because they are much more interesting than swedes who are constantly stressed about things.
11:55 April 1, 2011 by karinBM
More people reads The Local, and all your negativity is so depressing, so antidepressive pills is just a way of coping.
15:16 April 1, 2011 by rob robertson
Being out in nature is a very-good anti-depressant - I know some are weary of this, however, it is the best medicine. You will find answers if you dare to weather the storm of being close to other living things (tree's,plants and wild animals). Also, letting daylight in- and going to bed earlier.
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