This can help with...
- understanding different types of treatments for depression
- managing depression symptoms
- understanding your depression treatment plan.
Why treating depression is important
When depression isn’t properly managed it can interfere really badly with your life, but figuring out a course of treatment that works for you can be difficult on your own. It is treatable though, so it’s worth seeking professional advice from a doctor to work out a treatment plan that works for you. Though you may still have some pretty tough days, proper management of depression will make things much easier for you.
How to treat depression
Types of depression that are caused by biological factors (i.e. melancholic depression) are likely to need physical treatments (such as medication). They are much less likely to be resolved with psychological treatments alone (such as counselling or psychotherapy).
Clinical (non-melancholic) depression can be treated with both or either physical treatments and psychological treatments. What course of treatment works best depends on the cause of depression and a person’s personality.
Alongside clinical treatments, people commonly use a range of self-help strategies to help manage their symptoms. See 'Self-help tools for managing depression' for more info.
More about psychological treatments
These can work alongside medication or on their own. They’re usually provided to a person with depression by an expert such as a counsellor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
Types of psychological treatments that might be used include:
Your GP or therapist will be able to help you work out the best approach for you.
More about physical treatments
Medication can be helpful in managing depression. There are several different types of antidepressant medications which are prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists. Three common types of antidepressants are:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs),
- Tricyclics (TCAs)
- Irreversible Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs).
They each work in different ways and have different applications. Like most medications there can be side-effects and some medications are better suited to adults than young people. It is important to ask about what options you have, how the medication will affect you, and how to take it safely.
If your depression becomes particularly severe, or you are suicidal you might need to be hospitalised. Sometimes you might spend a short amount of time in hospital when you start a new medication, to ensure it’s working effectively and to watch out for side- effects.
What to do next
If you are curious about how any of these treatments may help you manage you’re depression symptoms, contact your doctor/mental health professional. They’ll be able to discuss your treatment options with you.
To find out more about what other young people have found helpful, you may want to check out WhatWorks4U.org where others share their experiences and what works for them.