Antidepressants Are Not Overprescribed!

Come gather in the yurt at the Stand in the Square for another in the series of The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. The university-sponsored events present a range of talks on various topics over the course of the month. Antidepressants Are Not Over-Prescribed! brings the question of prescribed medical treatment of depression to the tent. Speaker Professor Stephen Lawrie, a psychiatrist from Edinburgh University, defended the idea that antidepressant treatment is distributed within reason. Some audience members agreed, but many also disagreed - yet most of those that spoke out during the discussion have technically suffered from the very same illness.

Explaining data collection and breaking it down for us, exploring the stigmatisation around mental illness, and weighing up the advantages of therapy against the medicinal treatment of depression, Lawrie gives us all of the facts we need to construct a well-informed opinion on the topic.

Explaining data collection and breaking it down for us, exploring the stigmatisation around mental illness, and weighing up the advantages of therapy against the medicinal treatment of depression, Lawrie gives us all of the facts we need to construct a well-informed opinion on the topic. However, the audience remains divided and discussion goes on to reveal the shockingly vast amount of information that is still unknown to modern medicine when it comes to depression. The yurt soons becomes a safe place for discussion where attendees bounce thoughts and life-experiences off one another – some even make personal first-time revelations to the audience of strangers present.

Although the event was certainly thought-provoking and educational, it consisted largely of audience members’ personal stories of mental illness and treatment courses which although appropriate and interesting, did detracted from the debate. Moreover, restricted to an hour, many questions were left unanswered or cut short. The event would have benefited from a longer running time where ideas and arguments could be better teased out.

This event was a one-off, but The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas offers a number of other talks also given by academics over the coming weeks,. These shall cover topics such as ‘Are Designer Babies a Slippery Slope?’ and ‘Are We Wasting Your Data?’. So head over to the Stand in the Square for a thought-provoking educational break from the frivolous fun of the festival.

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The Blurb

Doctors are constantly accused of dishing out antidepressants like sweeties. But the dramatic reports in the media ignore how common major depression is, how antidepressants work, and how prescription numbers are calculated. Major depression can be life-shattering, occasionally fatal. For sufferers and their families, antidepressants are no lifestyle drug - they are life-saving. Professor Stephen Lawrie, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, argues that doctors and psychiatrists get antidepressant prescriptions right much more often than not. Do you agree? Or are antidepressants just a quick fix for life’s ups and downs? Have your say.

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