"Anti-depressant use among young people is and has been a matter of concern" that's according to world health experts. A new study shows that between 2005 and 2012 there was a 54% increase in the number of young people prescribed them in the UK. The World Health Organization says there is "no justification" for them to be used so widely in young people. We've heard from two people in their 20s who've had different experience of taking medication for mental health problems.
Kate Williams, 26, started taking medication at 16 after trying other methods to tackle her mental health problems. "I tried holistic therapy, I tried counselling and then after speaking to my parents we decided that I should go to the doctor. The worst part was that I couldn't pinpoint why I felt that way, I just felt really sad. Even though I was young I felt that I couldn't get out of bed. I was really upset all the time." She told us that when she took medication it really helped. "It changed things massively, I just felt like a completely different person. I feel that I wouldn't be able to cope without them. After a few weeks I just started to feel brighter, like not everything was so bad and gloomy. I felt like I was lifted in some way and that just made me feel so much better about myself. By taking this tablet every day I feel like I fit in with the crowd and my mood is better. I am just a generally happier person. I have a little boy now and I have so much responsibility. I think it's important that his mum is happy every day and not sad and crying."
Twenty-year-old George Watkins was prescribed anti-depressants at 15 and has had a very different experience to Kate. He says no other forms or treatment were made available to him. "My doctor put me on the anti-depressants really after a five-minute consultation. I wasn't offered counselling or anything like that, it was straight in," he explained.
He says the medication has had a huge effect on his life. "When I open my eyes in the morning staring at the ceiling, I wonder if this is the day when I feel clear headed and be myself. There were times, I have to admit, where I was on the verge of suicide. They (the pills) exacerbated my problems, I felt numb. It just got harder and I'd almost feel out of my body." Things have started to improve and three things got him through it. "[They were] my dog, who we got at the time when we came on my first set of beta-blockers, writing and playing my guitar." He says he has no time for medication. I was terrified, still am, of medication because of how bad it makes me feel."