Anxiety & Depression on the rise despite record drug prescriptions. Let's start treating the cause, not just the symptom.

Anxiety and depression are on the rise! The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills last year and the number has doubled in the last decade… a staggering 64.7m items of antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2016.

Surely if the drugs were working, then we would be seeing a fall in cases not a rise?

I’m not writing this trying to convince people to come off their medication… but the pills are not working and the underlying issue is that they are treating the symptom not the cause... so this needs some attention!

For a long time we wondered if depression was a genetic issue — an imbalance of serotonin, but as Dr David Healy professor of psychiatry states “depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain does not exist. It was never discredited, because it was never credited in the first place.” 

So what is causing this huge surge in anxiety and depression?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report that depression is a social issue not a genetic one — the World Health Organisation! And how was that missed in the headlines?! 

And to attribute it (at least even partially) to social factors does make sense. We managed to get through 2 world wars without a breakdown in society like we are seeing now — and our genetics haven’t changed that much.

What has changed then?

Johan Hari writes about “the Real Causes of Depression” as social too. What has happened to communities? What has happened to the day to day connections we form around us? Instead of talking to our families in the evening, we watch Netflix. Instead of seeing friends, we check out what’s happening on Facebook. Instead of digging for treasure, kids are playing computer games. Hari focuses on particular case studies where the introduction of connection and community in previously broken down societies massively changed the wellbeing of its inhabitants.

The day to day stresses of life and digital information overload means that we don’t take the time to make the connections we used to. This is particularly true in large cities — people seem to walk around with their heads locked to their phones. It’s a surprise there aren’t more cases if people walking into lamp posts! Instead of making eye contact or human contact, we use our phones as a means to “connect” meaning that we are becoming disconnected from the world around us, from our friends — or the possibility of actually making them and from ourselves. How does that feel? Empty? Depressing?

My teacher and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy, Marisa Peer takes it one step further and has found over her 30+ year career as one of the world’s leading therapists that depression is about the negative things which we say to ourselves — what we call ourselves over the course of a day, like ‘you idiot’, ‘you loser’ and the fact that people are not following their heart’s desire. The pressure to earn enough to put food on the table and live a monotonous life travelling to and from work — followed by a night in front of the box not even being able to spend precious time with our families is not what most children grow up to dream of.

So what can we do about it?

Firstly, let’s build some awareness around our situation. We have to become more aware of what is going on in our lives… How much time are we spending making real connections with real people? How much time are we spending on screens? Are we really doing what we want with our lives? What are the alternatives out there — so we can really find what is our heart’s desire? And why are we feeling so disconnected? So different?

What is causing the anxiety & depression? Where does it stem from? 

Not — let’s just chuck some pills at the problem... that’s not going to change the underlying issue.

I’m not saying get rid of pills, but I am saying to take a look at the whole picture. Let’s hover above your life and see what’s working and what’s not working and make some changes.

Make some changes to your routine that support your health. Make some changes that support your social life — make some changes that support growth. 

And there’s also the part you don’t necessarily get — what’s happening underneath on a subconscious level? The great thing is, that anxiety and depression therapy with Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) does not have to mean years and years of your life endlessly going over all the bad things that happened to you. 

Anxiety is caused by a very natural reaction which is there to protect us called fight or flight. The only issue is, when our mind perceives a danger when we are a child, our subconscious mind hooks onto the idea and our mind easily rides with it… What was a threat to you as child of 5 is no longer a threat to you at the age of 35, but unless we go into your subconscious mind, find out what is going on, and release it — then it can go on and on...

As an anxiety and depression therapist (RTT therapist), I see the look on people’s faces when they open their eyes. It’s relief — it’s like they shed ten years… it’s freedom. 

We can get to the root cause of what’s holding you back from happiness in between 1 and 3 sessions and give you a huge amount of solutions and positive steps forward so that you see immediate shifts. 

Let’s find what event or events caused the anxiety and depression in the first place and enable you to let go — get free — from the bottom up! Having RTT hypnotherapy is also a lot healthier than filling your body with pharmaceuticals! 

Let’s take the reins of our lives and follow our heart’s desire, let’s get connected on all levels — let’s take the time to pour some love into ourselves whatever that means to you. Whether it be time out, meditation practice, time with friends or relatives, having the guts to say NO to employers, getting some RTT!  Let’s become masters of our own universe. Trying alternative therapies before just giving into the pharmaceutical companies’ marketing tactics. 

Maybe we can’t eliminate these drugs just yet — but we can take a closer look at what’s going on, because they are evidently not a solution to the issue. As adults, we are responsible for our own wellbeing, as parents we are responsible for that of our kids. Do we want our children to grow up in a world where pills are handed out to everyone, and we don’t search for answers and look at a situation objectively? I hope not.

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Charlotte Armitage