The BBC News reported this morning that more and more youngsters are being prescribed Anti Depressant medication. A rise of 54% in the last 10 years to be precise. This comes as no surprise to me any other psychotherapist, hypnotherapist or counselor working with young people I should imagine.
In my work I see loads of these young people. They come in for all sorts of reasons, self harm, eating disorders, stammers, social anxieties, phobias, exam stress, the list goes on. I am shocked at how many have already been prescribed an anti depressant by a GP before any psychotherapy has taken place.
The very fact they have been prescribed these medications and are STILL seeking help demonstrates that Anti-Depressants as a stand alone cure is simply not effective.
Don't get me wrong I am by no means pointing the finger at GP's. We can all see how their hands are tied. There is a huge lack of resources available for both young and adult mental health so in some instances I'm sure there is little option for them but to follow the pharmaceutical route.
But these young people are at a very vulnerable stage of life and if we want them to pull through to the other side of adulthood reasonably unscathed and able to make a positive contribution to society then we have to stop numbing and postponing the underlying problems through use of prescribed medication and absolutely instead ensure young people are given access to a talking therapy and quickly.
I know the positive difference only a few sessions of Hypnotherapy can make to a young persons self esteem. Obviously these changes are also a welcome relief to the parents who are invariably supporting these sessions financially. The worry and helplessness of watching your child grow into early adulthood within a cloak of anxiety and despair is pure heartache so what happens to the parents and the young adults who are truly unable to financially afford this additional support?
Nia Jones - The Heath Practice Hypnotherapy Cardiff