The future of anti-depressants and ‘talking’ therapies
What is depression?
Depression is when you are feeling low and have lost pleasure in most activities for a long period of time (usually three months or more).
How common is it?
1 in 4 people will have a mental health problem at some point in their life. Mental health issues are an increasing problem in young people. It is the third most common reason for seeing a GP in the UK and each year around 1 in 20 adults will develop depression.
What can be done?
Antidepressant medicines are often prescribed for depression. However, recent research suggests there no new antidepressants are likely in the next decade, which is quite alarming. Nevertheless, there are alternative therapies which may work for some cases of depression. In fact, unless your depression is very severe, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend that antidepressants medication should be used as second line treatment.
NICE suggests that before you try medication, your doctor should recommend:
Talking cures include:
- ‘Low intensity’ psychological therapies [individual guided self-help, computerized cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT), group-based physical activity or group-based peer support]. These types of treatment can help if your symptoms are mild or if this is your first episode of depression.
- ‘High intensity’ psychological therapies (group based CBT, individual CBT, interpersonal therapy, behavioural activation or couples’ therapy) may be more effective if your symptoms are more severe or if this is not your first episode of depression.
For more information on depression consult www.prodigy-patient.co.uk