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Nurse tells radio listeners she takes antidepressants for stress

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A specialist cancer nurse has claimed the stress of her job means she and most of her team need antidepressants to cope.

In an interview with a radio station earlier this week, she said that herself and her team of five other staff were taking antidepressants just to cope with the stresses of work.

“Everyone of us are on antidepressants because of the stress of the job”

Liz from Leeds

Liz, who was described as a cancer specialist from Leeds, told LBC presenter Shelagh Fogarty that she would not be able to do her job without taking the prescribed drug.

“I’m quite a senior nurse in the NHS, I am a cancer nurse specialist,” she said. “I share an office with five other people, so six of us in total and we are all nurse specialists for various types of cancer.

“Everyone of us are on antidepressants because of the stress of the job, the busyness, the pressure, the lack of perceived support,” she said in a programme broadcast on 29 May.

“I’ve been doing the job for 15 years and I’ve been on antidepressants since 2001 and I really couldn’t do my job without them,” she added.

Antidepressants are the fastest growing therapeutic area for prescriptions, according to latest data from NHS Digital, which was published last year.

Antidepressants saw the greatest numeric rise of all British National Formulary areas for prescription items dispensed in the community in England in 2016, according to the report titled Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2006-2016.

It showed that for the fourth successive year, prescription items for antidepressants showed the greatest numeric rise. They increased by 3.7 million items (6%), from 61.0 million to 64.7 million between 2015 and 2016, stated the report.

It also highlighted that the number of antidepressant items has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2016, there were 64.7 million antidepressant items dispensed - 33.7 million (108.5%) more than in 2006, when there were 31.0 million.

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