Definition of depression and treatment
Depression means different things in different situations. It is normal to feel stressed out when you have a lot on, or to have times when you feel a bit low.
(Gilbert, P. (2007) Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression – 3rd Edition. London: Sage)
You should make an appointment with your GP if you have any of the following for more than a few weeks
- Low mood, feeling angry or irritable
- having less energy to do things you usually enjoy
- Feeling sad
- Either sleeping too much or not enough
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Loss of self-confidence
The doctor should ask you about any causes of depression. For example, a traumatic event that is making you feel this way.Physical health issues can cause depression, so they might want to do some tests to see if you have any physical symptoms that could be causing depression.
How can anti-depressants help?
Your GP might prescribe you an antidepressant. You might have to try a few before you find one that works for you. If you don’t want to take antidepressants then let your doctor know and they will discuss other treatments with you.
Talking therapy is a general term to describe any therapy that invokes taking
Talking therapy should offer you a safe and non-judgmental space to talk about your life and any painful or confusing things that might be happening. It allows you to talk openly to someone who is trained to listen.
There are different types of talking therapy that you might be offered. These include:
- Cognitive -behavioural therapy
- Problem solving therapy
- Group therapy
- relationship therapy
- mindfulness therapy
You may be able to access services through the NHS, privately or through your employer in an Employer assistant scheme.
The different kinds of therapy offered will depend upon the cause of your depression and how severe it is. Ask your GP about therapy if you think it might help.
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For more information please check out the Depression Assessment Tool on the NHS website ( takes you to an external link)