Clinical depression - Treatment 

Treating clinical depression 

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of medicines, talking therapies and self-help.

Treatment options

The kind of treatment that your doctor recommends will be based on the type of depression you have. Below is a short description of the types of treatment your doctor may recommend.

Mild depression

  • wait and see  if you're diagnosed with mild depression, your depression may improve by itself. In this case, you'll simply be seen again by your GP after two weeks to monitor your progress. This is known as watchful waiting.
  • exercise  there is evidence that exercise may help depression and it is one of the main treatments if you have mild depression. Your GP may refer you to a qualified fitness trainer for an exercise scheme, or you can find out more about starting exercise here. Read more about exercise for depression.
  • self-help groups  talking through your feelings can be helpful. You could talk either to a friend or relative, or you can ask your GP to suggest a local self-help group. Find out more about depression support groups. Your GP may also recommend self-help books and online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Mild to moderate depression

  • talking therapy  if you have mild depression that isn't improving, or you have moderate depression, your GP may recommend a talking treatment (a type of psychotherapy). There are different types of talking therapy for depression, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling. Your GP can refer you for talking treatment or in some parts of the country you might be able to refer yourself.

Moderate to severe depression

  • antidepressants antidepressants are tablets that treat the symptoms of depression. There are almost 30 different kinds of antidepressant. They have to be prescribed by a doctor, usually for depression that is moderate or severe.
  • combination therapy  your 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.
  • mental health teams  if you have severe depression, you may be referred to a mental health team made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist nurses and occupational therapists. These teams often provide intensive specialist talking treatments as well as prescribed medication. 

You can see a summary of the pros and cons of these treatments, which allows you to easily compare your options.

Read more detailed information about these and other treatments below.

Talking treatments hide

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you understand your thoughts and behaviour and how they affect you.

CBT recognises that events in your past may have shaped you, but it concentrates mostly on how you can change the way you think, feel and behave in the present.

It teaches you how to overcome negative thoughts, for example being able to challenge hopeless feelings.

CBT is available on the NHS for people with depression or any other mental health problem that it has been shown to help.

You normally have a short course of sessions, usually six to eight sessions, over 10 to 12 weeks on a one-to-one basis with a counsellor trained in CBT. In some cases, you may be offered group CBT.

Online CBT

Computerised CBT is a form of CBT that works through a computer screen, rather than face-to-face with a therapist.

It's delivered in a series of weekly sessions and should be supported by a healthcare professional. For instance, it's usually prescribed by your GP and you may have to use the surgery computer to access the programme.

Ask your GP for more information or read more about online CBT and the courses available here.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT focuses on your relationships with other people and on problems you may be having in your relationships, such as difficulties with communication or coping with bereavement.

There's some evidence that IPT can be as effective as antidepressants or CBT, but more research is needed.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

In psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) psychotherapy, a psychoanalytic therapist will encourage you to say whatever is going through your mind.

This will help you to become aware of hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that may be contributing to your problems. Read more about psychotherapy.


Counselling is a form of therapy that helps you think about the problems you are experiencing in your life to find new ways of dealing with them. Counsellors support you in finding solutions to problems, but do not tell you what to do.

Counselling on the NHS usually consists of six to 12 hour-long sessions. You talk in confidence to a counsellor, who supports you and offers practical advice.

Counselling is ideal for people who are basically healthy but need help coping with a current crisis, such as anger, relationship issues, bereavement, redundancy, infertility or the onset of a serious illness.

Getting help

Your first port of call should be your GP, who can refer you for NHS talking treatments for depression available locally.

In some parts of the country, you also have the option of self-referral. This means that if you prefer not to talk to your GP, you can go directly to a professional therapist.

To find out what's available in your area, see our counselling and psychological therapies directory.

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Antidepressants show

Antidepressants are medicines that treat the symptoms of depression. There are almost 30 different kinds available.

Most people with moderate or severe depression benefit from antidepressants, but not everybody does. You may respond to one antidepressant but not to another, and you may need to try two or more treatments before you find one that works for you.

The different types of antidepressant work about as well as each other. However, side effects vary between different treatments and people.

When you start taking antidepressants, you should see your GP or specialist nurse every week or two for at least four weeks to see how well they are working. If they are working, you'll need to continue taking them at the same dose for at least four to six months after your symptoms have eased.

If you've had bouts of depression in the past, you may need to continue to take antidepressants for up to five years or longer.

Antidepressants aren't addictive, but you may get some withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly or you miss a dose (see below).

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

If your GP thinks you would benefit from taking an antidepressant, you'll usually be prescribed a modern type called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Examples of commonly used SSRI antidepressants are Seroxat (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Cipramil (citalopram).

They help increase the level of a natural chemical in your brain called serotonin, which is thought to be a "good mood" chemical.

SSRIs work just as well as older antidepressants and have fewer side effects.

They can, however, cause nausea and headaches, as well as a dry mouth and problems having sex. However, all these negative effects usually improve over time.

Some SSRIs aren't suitable for children under the age of 18. Research shows that the risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviour may increase if they're taken by under-18s. Fluoxetine is the only SSRI that can be prescribed for under-18s, and even then only when a specialist has given the go-ahead.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

This group of antidepressants is used to treat moderate to severe depression.

TCAs, which includes Imipramil (imipramine) and amitriptyline, have been around for longer than SSRIs.

They work by raising the levels of the chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain. These both help lift your mood. 

They're generally quite safe, but it's a bad idea to smoke cannabis if you are taking TCAs because it can cause your heart to beat rapidly.

Side effects of TCAs may include a dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, problems passing urine, sweating, light-headedness and excessive drowsiness, but vary from person to person.

The side effects usually ease after seven to 10 days, as your body gets used to the medication.

Other antidepressants

New antidepressants, such as Efexor (venlafaxine)Cymbalta or Yentreve (duloxetine) and Zispin Soltab (mirtazapine), work in a slightly different way from SSRIs and TCAs.

Venlafaxine and duloxetine are known as SNRIs (serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors). Like TCAs, they change the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.

Studies have shown that an SNRI can be more effective than an SSRI, though they're not routinely prescribed as they can lead to a rise in blood pressure.

Withdrawal symptoms

Antidepressants are not addictive in the same way that illegal drugs and cigarettes are, but when you stop taking them you may have some withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • upset stomach
  • flu-like symptoms
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • vivid dreams at night
  • sensations in the body that feel like electric shocks

In most cases these are quite mild and last no longer than a week or two, but occasionally they can be quite severe. They seem to be most likely to occur with paroxetine (Seroxat) and venlafaxine (Efexor).

Withdrawal symptoms occur very soon after stopping the tablets, so can easily be told apart from symptoms of depression relapse, which tend to occur after a few weeks.

Common questions about antidepressants answered:

How long does it take for antidepressants to work?

Can I drink alcohol if I'm taking antidepressants?

How should antidepressants be stopped?

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Other treatments  show

St John's wort

St John's wort is a herbal treatment that some people take for depression. It's available from health food shops and pharmacies.

There's some evidence that it may help mild to moderate depression, but it's not recommended by doctors. This is because the amount of active ingredients varies among individual brands and batches, so you can never be sure what sort of effect it will have on you.

Taking St John's wort with other medications, such as anticonvulsants, anticoagulants, antidepressants and the contraceptive pill, can also cause serious problems.

You shouldn't take St John's wort if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as we don't know for sure that it's safe.

Also, St John's wort can interact with the contraceptive pill, reducing its contraceptive effect. Read more about St John's wort.

Electric shock treatment

Sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be recommended if you have severe depression and other treatments, including antidepressants, haven't worked.

During ECT, you'll first be given an anaesthetic and medication to relax your muscles. Then you'll receive an electrical "shock" to your brain through electrodes placed on your head.

You may be given a series of ECT sessions. It is usually given twice a week for three to six weeks.

For most people, ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effect tends to wear off after several months.

Some people get unpleasant side effects, including short-term headaches, memory problems, nausea and muscle aches.

Read more information about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on the Mind website.


If you've tried several different antidepressants and had no improvement, your doctor may offer you a type of medication called lithium in addition to your current treatment.

There are two types of lithium: lithium carbonate and lithium citrate. Both are usually effective, but if you are taking one that works for you, it's best not to change.

If the level of lithium in your blood becomes too high, it can become toxic. You will therefore need blood tests every three months to check your lithium levels while you're on the medication.

You'll also need to avoid eating a low-salt diet because this can also cause the lithium to become toxic. Ask your GP for advice about your diet.

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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2014

Next review due: 19/08/2016


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The 34 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

BelC said on 05 August 2014

I have suffered from depression on and off for over 30 years. The problem varies in intensity over time, often resembling a milder version of manic depression, but has identifiable causes. There is only the possibilty of C B T where I live, whether it is appropriate or not. Counselling, etc is only available by paying to go privately. I have tried C B T and the people who do it just seem to work to a script, my experience has been that it is extremely patronising and you feel as though you are being spoken to like a 5 year old much of the time. It has not helped me, but nothing ele is on offer.
It is very frustrating that this website tell us that other talking therapies are available, when in many areas they are not, presumably due to the Post Code Lottery.

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diddeen said on 04 May 2014

I am 65 and have suffered with mental ill health for over 45 of those years. I have been tried on about all medication going in the 70's had a a reaction, ECT the lot. My diagnosis was varied depending on who I saw, but I believe it to be PTS .
For the last 20 years I have managed to keep well, but now am taking 2 tabs a day rather than 20 and I am also greatly involved with mental health organisations locally and run 2 self help groups. All this together as been the reason I am still here today and not dead.

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ano25 said on 04 February 2014

Hi, I agree with Anonloumous. The GP made me fill out a question form which stated what I already knew, stated what the options were, opted for what I thought would be the CBT but said there was a waiting time, gave me some websites, and told me to come back if I needed to.

After taking almost 10 years to go and see the GP feeling that my issue was not worth wasting the GP's time on and then making a conscious effort to make an appointment when things were escalating and affecting my partner I came away feeling that their isn't help out there . . .

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Neil Luke said on 05 December 2013

I've suffered with depression most of my life, I'm now 40. I've taken nearly every drug out there.

About 10 months ago, my therapist gave me Concerta XL. I also take Mirtazipine, to help me sleep.

The last 6 months have been great, the drugs have been working,I felt like a new man..... Then all of a sudden I stopped sleeping, started feeling severely depressed again and physically feeling unwell.

I'm due to go back to the Doc's soon, but I just feel, the drugs I take are only working for a few months at a time, then I'm back to square one.... Help

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Anonloumous said on 25 November 2013

Since my last post I have been to see the CBT therapist ... Complete waste of time.
All she did was give me two websites to look at and said that if that doesn't work to see my GP to go and see her again.
I know my anxiety isn't major in the sense that I can't leave the house but I am very restricted on what I can and can't do because of it.
Clearly the NHS can't help people who actually need it which is awful seeing as we are paying for it through tax.
Definitely looking into private.

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Anonloumous said on 12 November 2013

Hi all.
I suffered with depression for such a long time without actually realising what was causing me to feel the way that I was.
I've had a huge amount happen over the years but will not go into detail.
Being in university with the stress and being picked on by my lecturer was the click of realisation ... That was in 2010. I then quit university half way into my second year.
It took me 2 years after leaving uni to see my GP to even mention anything.
He tried to palm me off with drugs, which I refuse to take no matter how ill or how bad of a headache I get, so naturally I said no to antidepressants. He then booked me in for counselling.
This was ok in places but when it came to the end ... Which shouldn't have ended so soon ... I still felt really bad.
Also, the counsellor knew that I was also suffering with anxiety at the time, which I still have now, and did not do anything about it.
I've been back and forth the doctors for 2 years as I collapsed 3 years ago and have been suffering with dizziness and anxiety since then. They said that the dizziness could be a combo of low iron levels, low blood pressure and anxiety.
Only now have they booked me in for CBT.
I know I am no where near how bad I was before thanks to my boyfriend saving me from everything a year and a half ago, but I can say that it's still there as the vast amount of past problems do not simply disappear.
I have been thinking of going private to try and finish this, or at least put it away.

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THE1stTCB said on 20 September 2013

After a very bad few years it became obvious I was depressed. I saw a psychologist who used CBT and it helped a lot. However, I can honestly say that without the support and understanding of my wife it would have taken a lot longer to recover than it did.
My advice is to try some form of spoken therapy before the drugs start. Most importantly, understand that the support from those closest to you is vital, without their help it'll be a longer and far harder journey than you need or want.

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kipper22 said on 22 August 2013

Hi, I suffered from severe depression for over 2 1/2 years and was mildly depressed for a long time before this. Unfortunately my experience with the NHS was not very good, I was prescribed a cocktail of drugs which did little to nothing to ease my pain. I waited 2 years before I received access to 'talking therapies' and by this time I had been on a roller coaster ride with antidepressants and anti-psychotics. If I knew then what I know now I never would have taken the drugs, the side effects and withdrawal symptoms made my life worse. When I finally got to see a clinical psychologist things did start to improve - slowly. She was great and introduced me to mindfulness and from there I started meditating. This was a big step for me, having mocked people who meditate in the past, I never thought it would be for me. If you are like I was and scoff at such 'new age' mumbo I would suggest you reconsider. A lot of the prescription drugs are not very well understood and some studies are showing that they are no more effective than placebos in all but the most severe cases.

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Dez88 said on 27 February 2013

I would like to point out that antidepressants do not 'give you extra serotonin' as many people believe. Antidepressants containing serotonin are taken to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking serotonin absorption, not by actually putting more of the drug into the body. Similarly, it is now accepted that depression is not caused by a lack of serotonin.

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User492629 said on 19 January 2013

I would like to know why doctors tell you your depression is caused by a chemical imbalance when they have no medical test to prove this. ? There is no test to measure the levels of serotonin in a living persons brain so giving antidepressants which raise the level of serotonin might not always be the answer. It might also be dangerous. Id say that most depression is caused by a persons situation or other external factors. It could also be a thyroid problem or lack of iron or a food allergy. Im sure in some cases antidepressants are the answer but doctors should definitely try and rule out all physical causes first and also offer counselling to let the patient open up and talk about everything they are feeling

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Dark place said on 16 December 2012

Concerns about work, sleepless nights or poor sleep over a few weeks, then a bout of flu, 5 nights with no sleep no food or drink, I slipped into my own hell? sensitive to noise, hearing things in the walls, suicidal thoughts, paranoia delusions....then the plan to end the pain....forever.... Speak to someone..please....

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runwellian said on 04 December 2012

Watching this video I couldn't help feeling the doctor was not a doctor because the film had been made in a shed or store some place.
To have faith in service it needs to be held in a professional setting and for me, I always think of IAPT as someones good idea that was stuffed into any available corner of any service.

I do know IAPT counsellors who are brilliant, but to sell this service to the public, I do feel a much improved promotional video could have been provided.

How about hearing from some folk that have used the service?

IAPT does work and I know that because i work in heal care, but seeing this video would discouraged me because of the sheer mess around the speaker, it is a junk room and not very convincing indeed!

As a patient needing help, would this be the kind of environment the patient would expect to be seen in? I am sure the NHS can do better than this and IAPT does provide an excellent service, not held in shed or junk rooms!

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Anonymous said on 29 October 2012

My gp hates me and it says the first port of call is my doctor. How can I do this when he says I am manipulative. He give me mirzapine and I couldn’t take it and he said well your on your own now. It has left me even more depressed . Apparenlty i am not allwed to write this NHS Choices wrte to me and sai
Thank you for contributing to the NHS Choices website. We have removed your contribution because we are unable to provide the expertise needed to respond fully to your message. If you have, or have had, any mental health issues and you are in need of urgent help please follow the guidelines below:

1. Contact your GP.....

Are they real? the whole pint is my GP reuses to help

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polyhedron said on 08 September 2012

All this information, all these comments, and yet no mention of thyroid disease - Hashimoto's, Graves, Plummers, etc.

I have seen and read the impact on mental status, especially depression, of inadequate thyroid hormone. And seen anti-depressants offered without even the first level thyroid test (TSH). Despite the person having a massively raised TSH and severe other symptoms they only had a choice of prozac or another tablet.

*Everyone* with depression should be checked out for thyroid issues. Before other treatments if possible.

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DNAR said on 26 July 2012

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DNAR said on 11 July 2012

Like people have said on these posts, to get the actual real facts and the actual treatments that are available, you have to go private.

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DNAR said on 11 July 2012

Like many the scenario, is you can't sleep. You go to the GPs and they send you on your way with a benzodiazepine. Next you have a severe reaction to this medication, PTSD or depressed with anxiety is triggered. The GP up's it each time you visit. Changing the name of the medication but, still within the same group. All sorts of severe side effect symptoms start happening. They then add an antidepressant or an antipsychotic. They will tell you, like cancer you have to get worse for them to work. Your locked in to depression. Many people end up in A&E due to the medication. Once you work out it is really the medication that's causing it, get off as soon as you can!

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quale317 said on 31 January 2012


Hi mijxx I just wanted to reply to your comment. I don't know whether you have seen your gp yet but what you described sounds similar to how I have felt before. I have sought help from my gp and I found that together myself and my very supportive fiancé were able to be really honest with my gp and she has tried her best to support me. I have private therapy as the NHS waiting time in my area was very long. I have recently relapsed but my gp listened and I am now taking medication and she has referred me to my local mental health team to see if they can help. In the meantime I am working hard with my therapist. Although it is very scary and it can be hard to know how to get better there are times we do really need help. I realise now without help I would have suffered in silence which simply isn't fair on me. Depression is a complicated illness and as sufferers we shouldn't bear the responsibility of it on our own. It does need treatment and if your gp listens to you they can help you. It is not your fault and there is better times ahead. Best wishes, quale317

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mijxx said on 19 November 2011

I have always been up and down throughout my life, around a year ago I went to GP and tried to explain that I thought I was depressed, they responded that they didn't think I was depressed, but could try some local services if i wanted some help. Thinking I was being stupid I left it there and struggled through, but the past couple of months stresses at work have really sent me low, I struggle to even keep day to day tasks like cleaning and eating. I often break down or become snappy with people especially my boyfriend, who bless him has been more amazing, half the time I feel like just walking into the road... I know I need to seek help but I'm terrified of wasting peoples time, or being sent away none the wiser again. I work as a home carer so my hours are very long too which means i Struggle to get time to make an appointment does anyone know the best way to go about getting help??? The only person I've been able to talk to about this is my boyfriend and I'm desperate to stop piling all of this on him i looked on here but its confused me a bit should I just bite the bullet and go to my GP again or is there any other way?

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elixir said on 10 November 2011

a quick story and recommendation for anyone who wants it; i started to feel like i was stuck in a rut doing the same thing every day in the same job for 5 years, feeling there must be more to life and realising the next thing to 'look forward' to was retirement. so i decided to do some travelling, i had the time of my life and on the road i stumbled across a little treasure, its a book called the power of now by eckhart tolle, it changed my way of thinking, (or not thinking as the book suggests) and is a huge eye opener to how much of a mess things around us are, ie the media. it raises awareness on humans misidentification with our own minds and the need for change, my description doesnt do the book justice. it covers alot of our daily struggles we go through as humans. my gf has what doctors would call depression and im trying to get her to read the book, im hoping it will be a stepping stone for her as i hope it will for anyone who reads it.

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Lynella said on 08 November 2011

Im so sick of being depressed :(

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The short dude said on 02 February 2011

Thank you Cedders :

Cedders said on 18 October 2010....
..."I know SSRIs cause less dry mouth and "anticholinergic" effects, but I don't agree they cause less dizziness: the withdrawal effects from paroxetine meant it continually felt like the pavement was spinning around me."

I was diagnosed with labyrinthitis many years ago, but it went away. I have lived with the fear of it returning, but it may have been withdrawal effects from paroxetine.

Thank you.


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Liz905 said on 16 January 2011

I suffered from depression for 3 years. I went to see my GP and was offered antidepressants but I dind't want to take them as I am not a fan of taking medication and I prefered the idea of talking therapies. I was bluntly told that talking therapies in my area were reserved for serious cases and that any way, there was a very long waiting list.
I was very discouraged after this and waited for things to improve but they didn't. So eventually I decided to go and see a psychiatrist privately. It was expensive but definitely worth it. We had a long discussion about my life and how I was. I felt he took everything into consideration and then said to me that I may benefit from psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I got refered to another psychiatrist that was able to offer that and I have been having weekly sessions for nearly 2 years now. It is a long term type of treatment and I was warned not to expect results immediately but gradually, I have noticed great improvements in my life. The depression has gone, but also I interact far better with people, I am much more confident, not so anxious. My self esteem has definitely increased and I just feel deeply at peace with myself. I feel like the therapy treated the root cause of my problems.
If you had asked me at the beginning why I was depressed, I would have said there was no reason. But now I understand that there were. Small things, but that gradually built up inside me and left me feeling terrible. Now, I am working through these things and becoming much more aware of how I am and how things influence me.
Financially and emotionally, it has been a huge investment. But I think that the benefits I have got out of it are worth every penny.
It's a real shame that therapy can be hard to access on the NHS but I would really urge people that think they would benefit from it to fight for it.
And don't' give up. It is possible to get better. It takes time, but you can rebuild your life.

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nigeles said on 13 December 2010

It has now been a year. I have lost the psychosis, hallucinations and nightmares but still have chronic insomnia (despite 10mg diazepam and 4 welldorm)
I still get panic attacks and am generally depresses despite 200mg Lyrica per day. Lyrica chemically castrates men which is an effect I do not want. Still no prescribed stimulant to overcome depression hurdle and do something. Still 3 month between psych evals.

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nigeles said on 01 December 2010

In my experience psychoactive medication is for life. I would expect symptoms to come back or even get worse if medicines that were correcting a permanent brain chemistry problem are withdrawn.

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nigeles said on 01 December 2010

After 12 months treatment at 3 month intervals (much too long) I have no faith in CBT and am recovering with medication that corrects my brain chemistry. Only problem is that neither doctors nor psychiatrists take into account need for a stimulant to be added to the mix as is the norm in attention deficit disorder. I find this to be essential as I need both the nergy and mood to do something to avoid returning to hibernation mode.

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Midlandsboy said on 22 November 2010

You don't want to hear about me too much, tried anti-depressants several times with no long-term benefit. I thought stress/depression/anxiety was for wimps when I was in my twenties. I will be 40 next year and now realise I was wrong. I have the best wife in the world and two wonderful children. On the outside I am a confident bloke who has done OK for himself. I am a sales manager and have been in work all of my life. On the inside I have to deal with at times the most terrible angst that I do not now how to deal with or how to treat long-term. When things get bad for me I go to my Grandpa's grave and shut myself off from the world. My worry is that one day I lose my job or worse still my wife. Travelsweety I agree with your comments about diet, I have thought that for along time. I think we all know that exercise, good diet and things like that help us but better education for our children and more information on where to get help for us has got to come. I think the answer for me is change my working life. I have enjoyed my work up to now but have lately become bored and do not want the same things. I would love to be involved in work that actually meant something, the only problem is that a big change in career is difficult to orchestrate. No qualifications or experience in the new direction makes it difficult and the disruption in your career has a massive effect on your earnings. If anyone knows how I can do this and not disrupt my family life too much then I am all ears. A big hug a lots of love to anyone with similar thoughts. Even though I find it difficult myself at times, please remember that you are normal, there are lots of people who feel the way you do maybe your boss, maybe your neighbour but you are not the only one. Thing will get better but don’t give up and surround yourself with the things you love and enjoy doing, lots of love

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Cedders said on 18 October 2010

I have long-term low-grade depression (a diagnosis of dysthymia) and still haven't found much in the way of treatment that helps, although have come to accept it more. The most useful thing for me was being referred to clinical psychologists for monthly "systemic consultation". I can see intensive behavioural activation might be useful too: anything which helps making difficult changes in life as well as in attitude. Certain types of therapy (analytical and CAT) actually made me feel worse because they seemed to offer no hope of progress.

I've tried half-a-dozen different types of antidepressant, but none really helped. Some made me sleep a lot more although reboxetine (not listed above, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) was a bit of a stimulant and might have helped with the lethargy a bit. I know SSRIs cause less dry mouth and "anticholinergic" effects, but I don't agree they cause less dizziness: the withdrawal effects from paroxetine meant it continually felt like the pavement was spinning around me.

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nigeles said on 19 May 2010

I was treated with fluoxetine. Many people get side effects from taking it and from stopping. I did not suffer ill effects until I had been taking it for 6 weeks. The depression then suddenly worsened and the medication was doubled twice in ten days. At the end of that time I was unable to leave the house. I slowly reduced the dosage to zero but still had severe withdrawal including dizziness, nausea, fatigue, numbness and lethargy.
Even this does not look so bad when compared to the delirium and incapacity caused by quietapine and mirtrazepine in combination with trazadone..
Before the current acute depression sertraline and temazepam did help but they made no impact on the latest episode.

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ozzgirl said on 15 May 2010

have been treated for depression for nearly ten years now. catalyst was marriage breakdown although family death four years earlier no doubt played a part. have tried different antidepressants. they seem to work for a while then back to feeling same as ever; lethargic, lack of interest in anything, over-eating, sleeplessness etc. now trying group therapy. really hoping it works cos i am desperate to get rid of this depression. it is ruining my life. i'm in my mid forties and feel as tho life is just draining away from me and i am helpless to do anything about it. i get cross with myself cos i know i want a good life but i just cannot seem to 'pull myself together'. the thought that there will never be an end to this doesn't help either.

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travelsweety said on 24 April 2010

Do look at your diet, I was treated for depression by my GP for 15 years, CBT, anti depressants, counselling etc. all helped me cope with the symptoms, but of course it kept recurring because the root cause was not addressed. I initially found cutting out aspartame (diet drinks) really helped, I've subsequently cut out dairy, grains, highly processed foods and all chemical additives and I've never felt so well, physically and mentally.
One day, I hope, a depression sufferers diets will be considered by clinicians before they dish out drugs.
Good luck to you all, my heart goes out to you, I know how you suffer, please believe me, things you are eating and drinking may well be making you ill, the 'experts' are not always right.

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mel80 said on 14 April 2010

Hello just seen your comment. I know it is a long time ago when you posted it but just thought i would add a little note any way. I have had Severe Depression for 6 years. I have been on different meds, Citolopram 20,40,60 , Duluxotine 60 etc.. When I started to feel abit better and I was totally fed up of having depression I decided to ask the doctor to cut my meds down and was adament that i didnt need them any more. within a month i noticed that all my symptons was coming back with a vengance!! Anger, frusration, lack of interest etc. I decided to go back to my GP and he explained that it could be down to the chemical imbalance. So it meant me going back on them again. Depression can come back and in some cases you may need medicating again. And it is about finding the medication that suits too. Only recently have I been signed off work again and now I am on a new medication called venfaxine 150. Depression is an illness and can come and go. so I would recommend going back to GP if you havent.

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Newdawn said on 09 February 2010

Been on anti-depressants of one sort or another for some 20years!
I can be my own worst enemy by fiddling around with the doses and even stopping taking the drugs!
I think my major problem is that there's an underlying cause to my depression which must be fixed first........
I suggest you see your GP, explain what is happening and either go back on the treatment you were on (as it worked) or maybe your GP will alter the dose or change the drugs.
Hope things improve for you.

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loopilou said on 20 December 2009

Been on citalopram for 4 yrs and had counselling ...which did help....many things have happened in the 4yrs and recently felt that i was in a good place mentally to come off meds which was done gradually as instructed by gp....
Been off meds now for a month approx and for last couple of weeks symptoms seem to be returning
anger...frustration..anxiety...tearful..tired...not sleeping
lack of interest...impatient ..etc
cant understand why its all happening again as i have no reason to feel like this now
has this happened to anyone else ??

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Mental and emotional health: talking therapies

Learn about different talking therapies that can help people overcome a range of problems, from depression to stress. Tip: check with your GP whether there are any IAPT services (Improving Access to Psychological Treatment) in your area.

Media last reviewed: 11/07/2013

Next review due: 11/07/2015


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