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Pills for the psyche: Antidepressant prescriptions have doubled since 2007


Germans are taking more and more antidepressants: regulations have doubled since 2007
A current study has shown that the stress at work has become so unhealthy for many employees that the usual compensation strategies are no longer sufficient to get down. According to experts, this also contributes to the fact that more and more antidepressants are swallowed. The prescribed amount of such drugs has more than doubled in the past ten years.

Stress-related sick leave is increasing
Stress and workload have increased for many people. But whoever is under power will run out of energy in the long run. According to a stress study by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), 43 percent of employees in Germany feel worn out and used up. One in four states that the stress has already become so unhealthy that the usual compensation strategies are no longer sufficient to get down. According to TK, this also contributes to the fact that stress-related sick leave increases and the volume of antidepressants in medication prescriptions increases.

More and more antidepressants are swallowed worldwide
Studies have shown in the past that more and more patients worldwide are taking antidepressants. The use of antidepressants in children has also risen sharply in some countries.

It is also problematic that such drugs are often administered without existing depression.

A study by researchers from Canada showed that antidepressants were used for anxiety disorders, insomnia and panic disorders, and in rare cases even for migraines, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and digestive system disorders.

Women are prescribed fewer medications
As the TK reports in a message, every employee in Germany in the past year was statistically prescribed antidepressants for an average of two weeks. According to the health insurance company, the amount prescribed has more than doubled since 2007.

"Overall, women are given fewer medications but more antidepressants than men," said Albrecht Wehner, who is responsible for TK's health reporting.

"However, the volume increased faster for male employees: they received medication for depression on average for 10.5 days in 2016, which is 114 percent more than in 2007. For women, the prescribed dose increased 'only' by 93 percent from 8 in the same period, 7 to 16.8 daily units, ‚ÄĚsays the expert.

Prevent stress-related diseases
In order to prevent stress-related illnesses, employers and employees must ensure that the energy level of employees remains in the green range, writes the TK.

Balancing strategies, mindfulness, resilience and burnout prophylaxis are therefore important topics for occupational health management (BGM).

Just working on the stress resistance of the employees so that they can cope better with unhealthy work processes, but is not enough, says Wehner: "The better strategy is, of course, to start with the causes and make work runs better and to balance them in your free time."

The TK health expert recommends that you take the opportunity to clear your head and switch off during your vacation.

Time-outs lend themselves to questioning one's own lifestyle, trying out new things, for example a new sport or relaxation training.

According to experts, it is fundamentally important for the balance between job and free time to plan times of leisure and to integrate relaxation into everyday life.

Leisure activities should be fun and enjoyable and should be a kind of counterpoint to the stress of work. (ad)

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