New Zealanders are taking a record number of anti-depressants.
The drug funding agency Pharmac says doctors wrote 1.2 million prescriptions last year and that figure has doubled in seven years. In 2002, 700,000 prescriptions were written.
Experts say up to 600,000 New Zealanders could now be on anti-depressants.
Auckland psychiatrist doctor David Codyre, who works with GPs, says drugs are a common way to treat depression.
"Until drugs, all doctors could do was listen," he says.
Codyre says one in 10 people in New Zealand are likely to experience significant depression or anxiety.
Some psychologists are blaming the recession for the rise.
Medical experts say redundancy, a lack of stress-relieving holidays or the struggle with mounting household bills was enough to push many people over the edge.
Psychologist Dr Simon Hatcher, told TV ONE's Breakfast, that he believed GPs are more willing to prescribe antidepressants nowadays.
He says the increase in people with depression could be for a number of reasons, higher awareness being them.
Hatcher also says there is "absolutely a link between the recession and mental heath."
He says one of the clearest links is between economic hardship and suicide rates.
"People who are unemployed are two or three times more likely to commit suicide," he says.
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