While there has been some success in uncovering genes which make people more susceptible to various disorders, specialists say that the true causes of depression and anxiety are from life events and environment, and research should be directed towards understanding the everyday triggers.
Peter Kinderman, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool [says] “Of course every single action, every emotion I’ve ever had involves the brain, so to have a piece of scientific research telling us that the brain is involved in responding emotionally to events doesn’t really advance our understanding very much.
“And yet it detracts from the fact that when unemployment rates go up in a particular locality you get a measurable number of suicides.
“It detracts from the idea that trauma in childhood is a very very powerful predictor of serious problems like experiencing psychotic events in adult life.”
The UK now has the seventh highest prescribing rate for antidepressants in the Western world, separate figures show, with around four million Britons taking them each year – twice as many as a decade ago. Yet the MRC spends just three per cent of its research budget funding studies into mental illness, most of which goes towards genetics or neuroscience.
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