I heard a few snippets this week on the BBC news along the lines of
Put away the tranquilisers. Sushi, chocolate and a new haircut could help beat depression, a new book suggests.
The overall impression I received from this was that it was advocating the ’buck up, go out and sort yourself out’ attitude that can be very damaging to people with mental health problems. It also implies that it is aimed at women with anxiety and depression, as I can’t see many people suggesting to men that they eat sushi, chocolate and get a haircut to deal with stress.
I decided to seek out the details about the news on the BBC website and found a short interview with Professor Jane Plant, author of Beating Stress, Anxiety and Depression, and Jane Harris, of mental health charity Rethink.
Luckily, my first impressions were wrong as they seem to be advocating that people with mild to moderate depression may find a range of diet and lifestyle changes helpful. That these options should be considered before anti-depressants are prescribed, and that more non-drug psychological treatments should be available for mental health. They also mentioned that only 6% of health research funding goes towards mental health research, even though the NHS spends approx £300 million a year on drug therapies.