Very sadly, the lead author of this letter, Professor Ian C Reid, died less than 6 months after it was published. I knew Ian Reid well as we both trained in Aberdeen though he was a few years senior to me. His loss has been widely felt and I still miss exchanging views with him by e-mail. Ian had a brilliant mind, was widely read and his orations were not to be missed.
Ian was an impassioned advocate for the ‘appropriate’ use of antidepressant medication.
In our friendly exchanges I often asked Ian this question “what duration of treatment with antidepressants is ‘appropriate’?”
I was surprised that Ian found this question so difficult as he was considered to be the foremost opinion leader on antidepressant prescribing in the British Isles, if not wider.
In our last exchange, shortly before Ian’s death, he replied to my usual question:
“Not sure what your issue is with all this. Can you say?”
At this time 1 in 9 Scots were on antidepressants and many, like me, were taking them long term and often indefinitely. Since 2014, antidepressant prescribing has risen to nearly 1 in 5 Scots. I do wish that Ian was here so we could seek his thoughts on this. I find myself wondering if he would still find this ‘appropriate’?
If you wish to share your own thoughts on this, please do so through comments. If you wish your comment to be anonymous that is fine. Just get in touch with me and I will ensure this.