Letter: Ill, or just shy?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leader "Who should pay for the `lifestyle' pills?" (9 October) is a simplistic and misguided view of the use of the antidepressant Seroxat. The way that drug works is far more sophisticated than the instant buzz of alcohol and cannabis and the condition it treats is more complex than the term "shyness" suggests. A lack of confidence can be the result of a clinical mental illness as well as inexperience or personality.

I write not as a boffin but as a user and I disagree that the drug is not cost-effective. For nine years, since graduating in engineering, I was unable to get a job of any description. After taking Seroxat for two years I have now had a job for seven months and my life has improved. It may be that the pharmaceutical companies overcharge for drugs but in this case the state wins and the user wins.

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