Doctors in two minds ?

Doctors are in a dilemma.      Anti-Depressant pills …….. or social clubs ?    What to prescribe for loneliness?     Conflicting advice has emerged just in the last two days.

Listen to researchers from Oxford University and doctors should be recommending more and more anti-depressant pills to the ever increasing number of lonely older people.   There are estimated to be around 2 million people who suffer from depression in Britain.   A staggering 65 million anti-depressant prescriptions are issued every year.    That must keep the doctors busy.

Alternatively, follow the latest advice of NHS England and prescribe more social activity.     Coffee mornings,   bingo,   walking groups,  pubs,   night clubs ………. anywhere you can meet and talk to people.   So maybe not night clubs.    Actually, pubs weren’t in the original list because I don’t think NHS England likes alchohol.    But for many older people, pubs are increasingly a popular place to meet and that doesn’t imply they are drinking themselves to death.

I wonder if my GP will pay for my season ticket at Leicester Tigers, if I tell him that I’m getting depressed about Tigers’ results lately ?   They are not having a very good season this year, so perhaps the team doctor should issue anti-depressants to the 20,000 Tigers fans 😀

For this new more wholistic approach to work, GP’s would have to spend a lot more time getting to know their patients first.   This is perhaps a skill that has been lost in today’s five minute consultations.  It is doubly difficult if you see a different doctor every time you visit the group practice.     Maybe we should go back to family doctors and occasional home visits?

Not so many pills for the ill, just a bit more time and compassion.




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2 Responses to Doctors in two minds ?

  1. Good morning on this cold dawn? It is now 09.00 and it is bright sunshine, the sun beckoning me to be out and about, with friends, family and acquaintance’s for a cup of bonhomie and a good old natter and a cheery morning greeting!
    AS the ‘blog’ purports to, allude too, it is great to be alive, and besides the bodily health issues, we also have to fed the mind?
    Antidepressants remind me of potholes in the road, and the bumps and rattles that persist as the road vehicle negotiates the many holes in the road: Like life, one has a bad patch now and again, however faith in our loved one and nearest and dearest, brings us round to a brighter sunnier horizon? What one does with a rugby team of ”ones desires” and all 15 men and true kicking into touch, and diving over the line, I just hope like a” tug of war” they all pull in the same direction? Not too many ”Madonna’s” in the team to dream about???
    I hear by declare my interest for ‘rugby’ league, and Bradford Northern- days gone past??? 13 men and maybe fairies amongst them?? No scrum down here?? Ever heard of a ”fairy ring”?? A bright green ring of grass, usually around a ‘dollop’ of cattle dung!!!.

  2. Alex Robinson says:

    Hi John – I for once tend to agree with you – compassion not pills. If someone can make their way to the doctor for a prescription for anti-lonliness pills, then hey can make their way to one of the many social activities on offer, possibly in a nearby church or community hall. What we need is for the doctor to be tough enough to tell them rather than take the easy oprtion of writing a prescription.

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