By Jenna Bergen
I have a friend, Mike, who was always ready with a joke. But when his relationship with his girlfriend went sour, his sunny outlook on life turned overcast. “She stopped returning my calls,” says the 27-year-old auditor. “I found out that she was with someone else.” Suddenly, my always-sunny friend was feeling low and considering whether he should see his GP about taking an antidepressant.
He has plenty of company. In 2008-09, almost 16.5 million prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in Australia, up from 11.9 million in 2002-03. But men often don’t need to be medicated – they’re just feeling down at that moment.
“Antidepressants are prescribed too often,” says Dr Stuart Shipko, a psychiatrist and the author of Surviving Panic Disorder. Shipko warns that taking a pill can lead to real problems: addiction, sexual impairment, or both. “Unless a person has a serious mental-health problem, the risk-benefit ratio doesn’t favour these drugs,” he says.
Fortunately, there are plenty of DIY ways to boost your body’s own feel-good forces. Try a combination of the following blues-busting strategies to help brighten your life view.
Mar 8, 2012