Treatments for Depression

Mindfulness, exercise, support groups are just a few treatments for depression
Mindfulness, exercise, support groups are just a few treatments for depression

Depression is recognised as a serious condition and there are a number of treatment options available on the NHS for those going through forms of depression.

How can depression be treated?

The following methods may be used to treat depression:

Mindfulness for Depression

Traditional treatments for depression focus on actively avoiding unpleasantness, pushing away negative memories or life events, exhausting strategies attempting to eliminate any discomfort. Mindfulness is the cultivation of a polar opposite response to negativity and distress.

Mindfulness practices the art of acceptance, letting go and allowing things to be as they are in the present moment, no fear of future events and no anguish over circumstances passed.

Mindfulness has shown to be a successful intervention, reducing the physical symptoms of depression, encouraging positivity and general health and wellbeing.

Importantly, Mindfulness based interventions have been found to prevent rates of relapse to the greatest extent of all treatments.

Exercise for depression

The NHS lists exercise as a proven method to help people with depression. Exercise helps to boost levels of endorphins which can help to life your mood.

Your GP can prescribe a course of physical activity or refer you to a qualified fitness trainer. You can choose the activity which will best suit your needs. Depending on the exercise programme chosen, this may be prescribed for free or at a reduced rate.

Self help or support groups

Self help groups or support groups enabled people to talk about their feelings amongst a group that can understand your viewpoint. Self help groups allow people to support each other. They can give you more self-confidence and can enable you to take more control of their life.

People attending self-help groups may be recommended self-help books and online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Talking therapies and counselling

Talking therapies and counselling involve spending sessions with a trained mental health therapist or a counsellor and help you to discuss your difficulties and explore ways of better coping with them.

A number of different types of talking treatments may be available on the NHS. Find out more on talking therapies and counselling.

Anti-depressant medication

Antidepressants may be prescribed for moderate or severe depression. There are a number of different medications available, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

These medications work in different ways and you may find that one medication works whereas another does not.

Anti-depressant medication may not be the most favourable treatment option for people with diabetes, some medications can interact with certain food or drink.

More alarmingly, they may also have an impact on raising or lowering blood glucose levels.

It has been reported that anti-depressants can cause symptoms of hypoglycaemia which are then inappropriately treated causing further problems ad complications.

If you are considering taking anti-depressants, treatment should be extremely closely monitored by your GP and Diabetic nurse.

Combination therapy

Combination therapy is when you are prescribed antidepressants together with a talking therapy. Combination therapy may well be offered if you have more severe depression.

Combination therapy may be offered if individual therapies have not brought a beneficial outcome.

Mental health teams

People with severe depression may be referred to a specialist mental health team. The team, which may be comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and specialist nurses, may provide tailored talking therapies and medication.

You may have a home treatment team or may need inpatient care.