Abstract: The article discusses the increasing prevalence of antidepressant use in the UK and concerns surrounding the reliance on psychotropic medication. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health is also mentioned, along with the increasing rates of probable mental disorders in children and young people.
The author highlights the role of psychotherapists in discussing medication-related topics with clients and advocating for collaboration with Family Doctors (GPs) and psychiatrists. It suggests that a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy may be more effective than medication alone, but long waiting times for therapy services pose a challenge. Staff shortages in mental health services are identified as barriers to adequate care and patient involvement in decision-making processes.
The Balance Model is proposed as a framework for planning interventions, focusing on the four areas of life (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to support clients in managing the side effects of starting or stopping medication. Overall, the article calls for a comprehensive approach to mental health treatment that considers both medication and psychotherapy, addresses the challenges associated with medication use, and advocates for improved training and collaboration among healthcare professionals.
Keywords: mental health, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, repeat prescription, side effects, withdrawal, positive psychotherapy, Balance model