Ellie

Dr Ellie Cannon surprised millions on This Morning by saying she takes the pills

  • She discussed how prescriptions for the pills have increased during pandemic

     

  • GP has been taking antidepressants, on and off, for about 15 years, for anxiety

  • In her case, medication has really worked and allowed her to live her best life

  • By Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday

    Published: | Updated:

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    I didn't really plan to announce on live television that I take antidepressants – it just happened, sort of.

    I was preparing to appear, as I often do, on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield a few weeks back, and the topic was The Truth About Antidepressants. 

    We were discussing the fact that, during the pandemic, prescriptions for the pills have increased, and also a new study that suggests 56 per cent of patients relapse a year after stopping taking them – which raises the question, should some people take them long-term, a bit like diabetes medication?

    Shortly before we went on air, I asked producers if they thought I should mention I’m on the medication myself. They agreed, so I did.

    I didn’t think it would be a particularly big deal. But in hindsight, I suppose I felt that doing it wasn’t just relevant, it was important.

    I’ve taken antidepressants, on and off, for about 15 years. I don’t take them because I’m depressed – I am not. I take them for anxiety, a problem that’s plagued me since my late teens and which, at times, has made life quite difficult to enjoy.

    In my 30s I might not have felt comfortable admitting it even to friends, let alone to a TV audience of millions. But now, in my mid-40s, I feel differently. Antidepressants are, I’d say, among the top ten drugs I most commonly prescribe.

    I’ve noticed this increasing year on year, which I think is partly due to greater awareness of mental health, meaning more people come forward for help, and partly due to the fact that more people are actually suffering from mental illness – although that’s another story.

    I wanted to show that ordinary people, who are parents and who have normal jobs, can suffer mental health difficulties. Doctors, just like anyone else, can get unwell, and when we do we need treatment.

    I¿ve taken antidepressants, on and off, for about 15 years. I don¿t take them because I¿m depressed ¿ I am not. I take them for anxiety, a problem that¿s plagued me since my late teens and which, at times, has made life quite difficult to enjoy, writes Dr Ellie Cannon (pictured)

    I’ve taken antidepressants, on and off, for about 15 years. I don’t take them because I’m depressed – I am not. I take them for anxiety, a problem that’s plagued me since my late teens and which, at times, has made life quite difficult to enjoy, writes Dr Ellie Cannon (pictured)

    And in my case, medication has really worked. As I said to Holly and Phil, antidepressants allow me to live my best life.

    The response over the past fortnight since I appeared on This Morning has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve received hundreds of supportive messages on social media and from patients.

    And I’ve had friends admit to me they are also on antidepressants, and thank me for going public. One revealed he had struggled on for many years but had been afraid to take medication because he’d heard ‘so many bad things’ about them. Now he was on tablets and it had been life-changing.

    But there have been critics – which is surprising, considering how innocuous the This Morning segment was. I’ve been targeted by the anti-psychiatry lobby, something I honestly didn’t know existed until now. They believe that antidepressants and other psychiatric medications are harmful – that they cause suicides, poor health and infertility, among other things.

    They say these drugs don’t treat the conditions they claim to, and any benefit is purely a placebo effect. Some claim doctors are trying to ‘medicalise normal’ and that mental illness doesn’t actually exist. They take to social media to spread their messages, and no doubt exert an influence.

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    Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10123277/DR-ELLIE-Antidepressants-worth-risk-know-Ive-15-years.html

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