Byline: JOHN NAISH
MORE women than ever are reaching for the happy pills, it has been revealed. New research suggests there has now been a significant increase in the number of women with depression.
Women are twice as likely to suffer from the illness than they were 40 years ago, and as many as one in seven will be affected by the condition at some point in their lives -- more than double the number of men, according to a study published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology. And the result of these soaring depression levels is becoming all too clear -- a massive rise in prescriptions for antidepressant drugs.
In Ireland, it is thought some 400,000 people suffer from depression. While the exact number taking antidepressants is not known, 1.2million prescriptions for antidepressants are written annually via state-funded schemes.
In the U.S., antidepressants are the most prescribed drug. And in England, there were four times as many prescriptions for drugs such as Prozac and Cipramil in 2009 than 18 years before. Women are currently twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than men.
The scale of these increases, over a comparatively short period of time, is nothing short of breathtaking.
So what's behind the shift and why are more women suffering from depression? The German researchers for the European study blame one factor: modern life. A 2003 study in boom-time Ireland showed one in three women living in Dublin was suffering from …