Antidepressants taken by one in 10 European adults

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Ten percent of all middle-aged people in Europe took antidepressants in 2010, according to a new survey. The highest rate of antidepressant dependence...

Ten percent of all middle-aged people in Europe took antidepressants in 2010, according to a new survey.

The highest rate of antidepressant dependence was found to be in Portugal, which was closely followed by the UK and Lithuania.

Rates of antidepressant usage in the latter two countries were described by researchers as higher than normal and overall they said the results were concerning.

Findings also revealed that incidences of antidepressant usage were more common in women who were unemployed and divorced or separated.

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The study was carried out by the University of Warwick who worked in partnership with IZA Institute in Bonn and over 30,000 European adults were the subjects of the study.

Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick said in a media interview: “As we live in the richest and safest era in the history of humans, perhaps we are going to have to ask ourselves why one in ten of Europe’s middle-aged citizens need a pill to cope with life.”

“That is an awful lot of people relying on chemical happiness.”

The researchers believe that the results mirror the theory that people experience a ‘U-turn’ in regards to their happiness and well being.

The theory states that at the beginning and end of their lives people are fairly contented and settled but during their middle years they can become stressed at home and work which could lead to a mid-life crisis. 

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