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Depression numbers 'up by 500,000'

The number of people in the UK suffering from depression has increased by almost 500,000 in the past three years.

According to the latest statistics from analysis of NHS data by SSentif, the total number of people with the mental health condition in 2010-11 was 4.7 million, while the amount of antidepressant medication prescriptions has also seen a large increase.

SSentif managing director Judy Aldred said: "We have to remember that the real numbers are likely to be much higher as many people do not seek GP support," while Depression Alliance chief executive Emer O'Neill believes that it may only be the "tip of the iceberg".

Ms O'Neill said that the financial problems in the UK since 2007 have no doubt played a part, but there had also been a shift in society's perception of depression.

She explained that more people are now willing to come forward to seek support and doctors are becoming much better at spotting the signs.ADNFCR-438-ID-801470981-ADNFCR

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