According to recent figures, prescriptions for anti-depressants have risen by more than 40 per cent in the past four years, whilst the number of referrals for talking therapies rocketed to 600,000, 4 times the amount than just 4 years before.
Despite the increase, the past few years have seen huge developments in terms of reducing the stigma of mental health, with charities tirelessly campaigning and spreading awareness and even the government acknowledging the importance of mental health services.
Furthermore, a number of role models in the public eye have also come forward and spoken openly about their experiences of depression. Cricket pro Michael Yardy, Wombats’ lead singer Matthew Murphy and actress Catherine Zeta Jones are but a few of the celebrities who have had the courage to be honest about their depression, encouraging those suffering in silence to do the same.
Wombats’ frontman, Matthew Murphy, spoke to the Guardian about the story behind the bands new single ‘Anti D’, which describes Murphy’s battle with depression and the citalopram he was prescribed to treat it.
After experiencing anxiety and depression since his teenage years, Murphy was eventually prescribed citalopram after developing panic attacks whilst at university. Though the medication did help to control his anxieties and insomnia he became conscious that the drugs were simply masking his problems. Whilst taking the medication Murphy also reported gaining two and a half stone in weight which further fuelled his lack of confidence.
The new single Anti-D describes the weeks which followed, during which Murphy even contemplated ending his own life. Looking back on his experience, Murphy says it is worth it to be honest about a condition which is still considered a taboo among many.
Mind chief executive, Paul Farmer is of the same opinion: “Depression affects many young men but, sadly, due to the stigma that still surrounds mental health, many do not feel able to talk about their experiences and receive the help they need. We hope that Matthew’s honesty will inspire other young men to open up, seek support and challenge this stigma.”
Matthew is now on the road back to good mental health and cites therapy as one of the key components to his recovery: “The psychotherapist I am seeing now is incredible, and has helped me more than anything else.” He said.
For further information about depression and how counselling may be able to help, please visit our fact-sheet.