Doctors wrote 2.1 million more prescriptions for anti-depressants such as Prozac last year.
A total of 36 million were dished out - and figures show the use of the pills has risen 24% in the past five years as the economic meltdown has taken its toll.
However, critics argue that prescribing drugs is a quick fix rather than a long-term solution.
Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "The figures raise some serious concerns over the impact of the recession on mental health.
"Ministers have acted too slow-lto ensure support is put in place to help people through these difficult times. England has become a true Prozac nation."
Recent Mental Health Foundation data also revealed the highest concentration of regions using anti-depressants is in the north of England, due to more rapid rises in unemployment. Philip Hodson, a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said: "Depression can be caused by unacceptable change happening at an unacceptable rate. For some, too much change can be paralysing. Pills have a role, but play better with some people than others."
Mental health charity Rethink said it saw a surge in people seeking advice as the recession hit. Manager Victoria Walsh said: "We are seeing people who have been high fliers and now find life without their jobs overwhelming."
The government has pledged more help for people facing unemployment and debt, with an advice network linking Jobcentres and doctors' surgeries to help them get free counselling.
By Tom Parry
Source - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-st...p-25-in-recession-depression-115875-21461074/