Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Treating Depression - What Works?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ("NICE"), which is the National Health Service Organisation that publishes health recommendations for England and Wales, has published Guidelines for Treating Depression in Adults. The Guidelines outline the approaches that you should be offered by the NHS if you are experiencing depression.

Some points to note from the Guidelines are that:

1. Depression is a common problem - it affects nearly 1 in 6 people in the UK

2. The Guidelines consider 3 levels of depression:-
  • Mild depression - when a person has a small number of symptoms that have a limited effect on their daily life

  • Moderate depression - when a person has more symptoms that can make their daily life much more difficult than usual

  • Severe depression - when a person has many symptoms that can make their daily life extremely difficult.

3. The Guidelines state that mild depression can sometimes get better by itself without treatment or by following advice from your GP or other healthcare professionals on coping with problems and improving sleep - including advice on:

  • going to bed and getting up at regular times

  • not eating large meals or smoking or drinking alcohol just before going to bed

  • taking regular exercise.

4. The Guidelines state that possible treatments for mild to moderate depression include a self help programme, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a programme of physical exercise.

5. They then indicate that if the treatments described in 4 above do not help you, then your healthcare professional should discuss with you whether to try either an antidepressant or a psychological treatment. Psychological treatments include one-to-one CBT or interpersonal therapy or behavioural activation.

6. The Guidelines note that if you decide not to have the treatments mentioned in 5 then you may be offered counselling or short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy but that your healthcare professionsal should explain that is uncertain whether counselling or short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy are helpful for people with depression.

7. If you have modereate or severe depression, you should be offered both an antidepressant and a psychological treatment which should be either CBT or interpersonal therapy.

The Guidelines described above were published in 2009. If you have any concerns that you may be depressed you are advised to consult your GP or another suitable qualified health professional.

To read the NICE Guidelines in full for yourself go to: Nice Guidelines for Treating Depression in Adults.

Blog Post Written by Life Coach David
For Life coaching Books and Resources visit: Life Coaching Books

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