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Nature Helps Depression

America is swimming in a sea of Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil! Prescriptions of antidepressants rose by 5.1% in 2021/2022, the sixth consecutive annual increase.

The latest increase means that the number of antidepressant items prescribed over the past six years has increased by 34.8%, from 61.9 million items in 2015/2016 to 83.4 million items in 2021/2022.

Figures published by NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) also showed an increase in the number of people prescribed antidepressants from 7.87 million people in 2020/2021 to 8.32 million people in 2021/2022.

To add to the burden, the side effects of antidepressants can sometimes be negative.

Researchers at Britain's Essex University have found a much cheaper alternative with few side effects: nature. Seventy-one percent of those suffering from depression said a 30-minute walk outdoors "made them feel better about themselves." Of the 108 patients who took part in conservation projects, went cycling, or hiked, 94 percent said the activities brought about greater mental health. Researchers are calling the new treatment ecotherapy.

Editor’s Note: The original illustration has been updated to the latest statistics (10/23)

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