Learn information about depression, its symptoms and possible causes, and tips on caring for yourself, we take into account your personal preference for what treatment helps.
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When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow. However, even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if your depression is keeping you from living the life you want to, don’t hesitate to seek help. From therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes, there are many different treatment options available.
Treatment – Clinical depression
Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicines.
The treatment recommended will be based on the type of depression you have.
If you have mild depression, the following treatments may be recommended.
Wait and see
If a GP diagnoses you with mild depression, they may suggest waiting a short time to see if it gets better by itself. In this case, you’ll be seen again by the GP after 2 weeks to monitor your progress. This is known as watchful waiting.
There’s evidence that exercise can help depression, and it’s one of the main treatments for mild depression. You may be referred to a group exercise class.
Find out more about walking for health and exercise for depression.
Talking through your feelings can be helpful. You could talk to a friend or relative, or get in touch with us for a free initial consultation.
Mental health apps
You can also find mental health apps and tools in the NHS Apps Library.
Mild to moderate depression
If you have mild to moderate depression that is not improving, or moderate depression, you may find a talking therapy helpful.
There are different types of talking therapies for depression, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Moderate to severe depression
If you have moderate to severe depression, the following treatments may be recommended.
There are many different types of antidepressants.
They have to be prescribed by a doctor, usually for depression that’s moderate or severe.
A GP may recommend that you take a course of antidepressants plus talking therapy, particularly if your depression is quite severe.
A combination of an antidepressant and CBT usually works better than having just one of these treatments.