Letter: No pill to cure unhappiness

Sir: Andrew Brown's article "Let them eat Prozac" (5 July) was another example of ignorance about mental illness. He talks about Prozac as if it was a recreational drug that can get one high. Antidepressants relieve symptoms of clinical depression - which has nothing to do with unhappiness. Unhappiness is part of the human condition and does not respond to antidepressant drugs. People seek relief more and more from unhappiness through the use of recreational drugs, most of which are known to be dangerous. Clinical depression, however, is a potentially life-threatening illness.

Andrew Brown might like to reflect on the fact that 2,000 people a day worldwide commit suicide. To link unhappiness and the pursuit of a pain- free world with clinical depression is another example of stigmatisation of those who suffer from mental illness. Antidepressants are not "happy pills".


London SW1