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OF mental health care and mentally ill

Atypical depression natural treatment

The NICE Guidelines on depression recommend self-help first (Step 1), with counselling as the next intervention (Step 2), with possibly some anti-depressant medication as well (Step 3) in slightly more severe cases These first three steps cover most people with depression. The usual treatment for depression (once it has been identified) is therefore often a combination of self-help (exercise, relaxation, information, and social prescribing), with then some counselling or psychotherapy and/or possibly some antidepressant medication. This is reasonably successful, and nearly all patients really do get better within a medium time-period of a few weeks or months from seeking treatment. Time heals, counselling helps, and medication can relieve some of the worst symptoms.

Self-help techniques are the much the most effective, cheapest, and easiest, and should be tried first. There is a section on anti-depressant medication a little later. But it is worth mentioning that sometimes anti-depressant medication is prescribed too soon, or too often. This is not really the fault of the GP: patients usually want something to make them feel better quickly, and they may have already delayed seeing the doctor, or owning up to being depressed. If anti-depressant medication is going to be a part of your treatment plan, then it is very important to take it exactly as prescribed. These medications are quite strong stuff, though they are not a miracle cure, or a replacement for therapy.

What medication can do is to create an inner stability (take the depressed edge off) that will allow you to regain a sense of yourself, or to make use of counselling or psychotherapy. Severe and enduring depression can indicate that there might be semi-permanent biochemical changes in the brain’s functioning and these, while rare, are not so amenable to psychotherapeutic treatment.

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