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Hundreds of thousands of people across the United Kingdom are diagnosed with depression each day. Many live miserably with depression and rely on unhealthy and largely ineffective prescription medications in order to ‘manage’ the condition.

Instead, we offer proven depression rehabilitation services allowing those affected by clinical depression to once again live a life of happiness.

Depression Types that You Need to Know

This mental condition comes with various symptoms, and they all vary depending on the individual.

To know the type of depression you’re facing, your medical practitioner may look at several things that you’re going through.

Let’s look at some of these things to help you understand each better:

  • Psychotic features – You’re depressed and are delusional or hallucinating. These delusions or hallucinations may be associated with a lack of self-confidence and thinking negatively.
  • Atypical features – For people with atypical features, they’re sensitive to rejection, need to sleep a lot, have increased appetite, and feel heavy in their legs and arms. Also, happy moments don’t seem to last long for them.
  • Seasonal pattern – This is depression that comes as seasons change, and when you’ve not been exposing yourself to sufficient sunlight.
  • Peripartum onset – It occurs when you’re pregnant or some weeks or months after delivering (postpartum).
  • Melancholic features – The victim can’t respond to the things that brought them pleasure in the past. He/she wakes up earlier than normal, has worse moods in the morning, appetite changes, and experiencing the feelings of agitation, sluggishness, or guilt.
  • Catatonia – The sufferer is disturbed mentally such that he/she makes purposeless and repetitive movements.
  • Anxious distress – When you’re anxiously distressed, you’re unusually restless and in constant worry losing of control or future events.
  • Mixed features – You experience depression and mania simultaneously, and it may come with symptoms such as increased energy, too much talk, and increased self-esteem.

Which are Some of the Disorders that May Cause Depression Symptoms?

You may have a disorder, and one of the symptoms of that disorder may be depression. Therefore, it’s always wise to visit a qualified medical professional for a thorough and proper diagnosis.

This way, you can get suitable treatment:

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – It occurs mostly in kids and comes with severe and chronic irritability, anger, and extreme temper outbursts occurring frequently. As the kid becomes an adult or teen, this disorder develops into anxiety disorder or depressive disorder.
  • Bipolar I and II – These two types of bipolar disorder include mood swings ranging from mania (highs) to depression (lows). Distinguishing between depression and bipolar disorders is sometimes very hard.
  • Cyclothymic disorder – When you have this disorder, you feel sometimes low and sometimes high. However, the lows and highs are more moderate compared to those of bipolar disorder.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder – It occurs in women, and hormonal changes are responsible for the depression symptoms. These symptoms start around one week before your monthly period, and they get better a few days after it starts. Also, they become minimal or go away after completing your period.
  • Persistent depressive disorder – This disorder is also known as dysthymia, and it’s a less severe but more chronic depression form. Even though it doesn’t disable you, it can significantly hinder you from living as necessary and performing well in your daily activities.
  • Other depression disorders – These are disorders brought by other medical conditions, some prescribed medication, or using recreational drugs.

What You Need to Know About Mild Depression, and What You Can Do About It

Mild depression is less severe, and you experience symptoms such as hopelessness, anger, irritability, lack of motivation, insomnia, weight changes, appetite changes, disinterest in socialising, and many others.

Even though the name suggests that it’s not a serious condition, it’s vital you do something about it before the symptoms become severe. Let’s look at some treatments that may be suitable for people suffering from mild depression.

The first treatment option you may have is waiting and seeing. If a medical professional diagnoses you with this condition, he/she may suggest that you wait for a short period to see if you’ll get better.

The short period maybe around two weeks, after which you’ll go back so that they can evaluate your progress. Waiting to see whether things will get better is referred to as watchful waiting.

Another thing you can do is exercising. It can help you significantly if you’re battling depression. Examples of exercises you can try are walking, jogging, running, and swimming.

Third, you can try mental health apps. These apps allow you to monitor your moods, actions, and behaviours to know more about your mental well-being. There are both free and paid apps; you can choose the ones that suit your needs.

Lastly, you can choose to get help. As the old saying goes, a problem shared is half-solved. Therefore, find someone you can talk to, whether it’s a relative, friend, doctor, or a local psychologist. And if there are depression self-help groups in your area, it would be wise to join them.

You can learn ways other people used to fight their depression, incorporate them in your life, and solve your problem. Try it, you never know. It may be the solution you need.

Mild to Moderate Depression

If you’ve been having mild depression, and it hasn’t improved, or you have moderate depression, talking therapy can be an excellent choice to try and solve the problem.

Talking therapies are available in various types, and some of them are counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You can either look for a talking therapy professional in your area or ask your general practitioner to refer you to one.

Moderate to Severe Depression

If you’re experiencing moderate to severe depression, you can try out the following treatments:

  • Antidepressant medications – These are medications that treat depression symptoms, and they’re available in almost thirty different types. You may need to go for an assessment from a qualified medical professional so that he can prescribe the most suitable ones for you.
  • Mental health teams – If what you’re experiencing is a severe case of depression, your doctor may also refer you to a team of mental health experts such as occupational therapists, specialist nurses, psychiatrists, and psychologists. These professionals offer talking treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, online CBT, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and counselling.
  • Combination therapy – If you’re going through severe depression, your doctor may suggest that you combine antidepressants with talking therapy. Combining these two works better compared to going with only one treatment option.

Various Medications for Depression

As we mentioned earlier, antidepressants are available in many different types. Even though they affect similar brain chemicals and bring the same effects, they have various chemical structures and side effects. Let’s look at some of them.

  • SElective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – These are the antidepressants that a doctor will first prescribe. They’re considered safer compared to others and generally have fewer adverse effects. Examples of SSRIs include vilazodone (Viibryd), fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and citalopram (Celexa).
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – They act similarly to SSRIs, but these act on both noradrenaline and serotonin. They’re more selective compared to tricyclics, and this means they are better when it comes to targeting brain chemicals that affect your moods, without bringing adverse effects. Examples include levomilnacipran (Fetzima), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla).
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – These make it hard for the enzyme monoamine oxidase to break down serotonin and noradrenaline. Therefore, these two chemicals stay active in a person’s body longer. These are mostly prescribed when other medications have refused to work, and you need to avoid certain foods because they may cause adverse reactions. Foods such as wine, pickles, cheeses, and some medicines are not recommended if you’re taking MAOIs. You can’t even combine them with SSRIs. Examples of MAOIs are isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), Selegiline (Emsam), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants – These are the oldest to have been developed, and they prolong serotonin’s and noradrenaline’s actions in the brain. When compared to other antidepressants, these have more severe effects. A doctor can’t prescribe tricyclics if you’ve not tried SSRIs first. Examples include protriptyline (Vivactil), trimipramine (Surmontil), amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin, nortriptyline (Pamelor), and imipramine (Tofranil). There are also tricyclic-related drugs. They’re similar in action to tricyclics, but their chemical structure is slightly different.
  • Other antidepressants and medications – There are other antidepressants that may not fit into the categories we’ve described above, but they are also used. Also, your doctor can recommend combining 2 antidepressants or adding other medications like antipsychotics or mood stabilizers. These medications are used to enhance the effects of antidepressants while minimising the side effects. Your doctor can also recommend adding stimulant and anti-anxiety medications but on a short-term basis.

Stopping Depression Medication

If you’ve been taking depression medications for a while now, then it’s vital you don’t stop all of a sudden. This is because antidepressants have various withdrawal symptoms which can be hard to handle. If you have decided to stop your medication, then there are several recommendations you can follow.

One, get support. You can gain support from a professional who knows how antidepressants work, or from other people who have used antidepressants before and stopped successfully.

Second, do your research about the potential risks associated with stopping antidepressants and reduce them.

Third, don’t make it a sudden stop; let it be a gradual process.

The NICE organisation recommends that even after your depression has ended, you should continue taking your medication for at least 6 months.

If you experience a depression that comes and goes from time to time, you may want to keep consuming your antidepressants to prevent another experience from emerging.

Treatment for Severe and Complex Depression

For people who are going through a complex and severe type of depression, a doctor can refer them to a specialist who deals with mental health.

If you’re one of these people, the specialist can discuss with you options such as:

  • Trying other medications and combining them with other treatments – If the medications you were taking were not successful, your doctor may recommend you try other types of drugs. Also, he/she may also suggest that you combine those medications with other treatments such as talking therapies.
  • Crisis resolution services – During a mental crisis, there are people who may not be able or may not want to go to the hospital. A Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) team is a group of professionals in mental health who can support these people in their homes instead of the hospital.
  • Meds for psychotic symptoms – Are you going through a depression that has psychotic symptoms? In this case, your healthcare professional can prescribe antipsychotic medications, which you can take together with your current medications.
  • Hospital admission – Some cases of depression come with serious consequences. For instance, some people think of committing suicide. Others harm themselves, while others neglect themselves. These people need care and attention 24/7, and this is where a hospital comes in handy. It offers a supportive and safe place where people battling depression can receive the care they need 24/7.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

This type of therapy is used to treat severe cases of depression. For instance, if this condition is a threat to an individual’s life and urgent help is needed.

Also, it is used when other treatment methods don’t seem to work, especially for moderate to severe depression.

Electroconvulsive therapy is provided in a healthcare facility under an anaesthetic, and it involves passing an electric current through a person’s brain. This process may result in some memory loss.

Note: When it comes to ECT, you should give your consent freely without being forced or feeling obliged to make that decision. Another thing you need to know is that you can revoke that consent at any time.

Before you make the final decision on the consent, your doctor should discuss it with you, with your advocate or carer present. If you’re in a state where you can’t give consent, your doctor should consider any written instructions and consult your carer or advocate.

Before the ECT process starts, the healthcare professional should give you enough information on how it works, as well as benefits and drawbacks. ECT is available in different types: bilateral and unilateral. You should get enough info on how they work and the side effects of each.

Your doctor should monitor your health progress after every ECT session. If side effects are more than the benefits, or if you’ve felt better, then the treatment should stop.

Also, your cognition and memory should be evaluated before the start of the treatment, after several sessions (three or four), and after completing the treatment.

If ECT treatment has helped you, you may need to continue taking antidepressants to stay well. If it hasn’t helped you, your healthcare professional may recommend that you through another ECT session, but only if other potential treatments don’t seem to work.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS works similarly to ECT; only that rTMS uses magnets. The administering professional places magnets near the victim’s head to alter brain activity.

It’s mostly used when psychological treatments and other medications can’t work. During the rTMS treatment process, the individual is awake, and it has very few side effects.

However, you can only get it in some private clinics and hospitals. The NICE organisation says that this treatment option is safe and works well enough.

Changes in Lifestyle You Can Make to Treat Depression

Changing your lifestyle is simple, but it can be a powerful option to solve your depression problem. That may even be the only solution you require.

Even if you’re taking depression medications, making various lifestyle changes can speed up the healing process.

1. Maintain a proper diet at all times

Your diet plays a crucial role in your overall mental health. What happens when you eat right? Your energy levels will be high, and you won’t have mood swings as much. Choose complex carbs rather than sugary foods. Complex carbs will keep your energy levels up for long periods.

2. Look for ways to manage your stress

Since we all go through stressful situations, find ways to manage your stress. Stressing yourself a lot increases your risk of depression. Identify potential stress factors such as work, finances, or relationships, and reduce their effects.

3. Take exercising seriously

Exercising regularly can be very effective at solving your depression issue. One, it increases endorphins, serotonin, and other brain chemicals that make you feel good. Second, it enhances the growth of new cells and connections in the brain, similar to what antidepressants do. The best thing is that you don’t have to be a long-distance runner or go to the gym to achieve these benefits. Exercise can be as simple as taking a 20-minute run, swimming, jogging, etc.

4. Interact and network

Networking with people ensures that you’re not isolated, one of the main factors for depression. Therefore, socialise with your family and friends or even join a class. You can even volunteer; you’ll receive social support and help the community as well.

5. Get enough sleep

Sleep is a major factor in your moods. If you don’t sleep well, your depression symptoms will worsen. Depriving yourself of enough sleep increases fatigue, moodiness, sadness, and irritability. Therefore, get adequate sleep every night, around seven to nine hours.

Psychotherapy to Fight Depression

If the symptoms of your depression are not due to a medical reason, then talk therapy is an effective form of treatment. When you go through these kinds of therapies, you feel better and learn techniques to prevent depression from re-appearing.

There are various types of therapy, but the most common ones are psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy. A combination of these therapies is also used.

While going through these therapies, the psychologist or psychiatrist teaches you methods to change your thinking (so that you don’t think negatively) and use behavioural skills to fight depression.

The best thing about therapy is that it can find the root cause of the problem. This way, you can understand why you’re feeling that way, the things that trigger your depression, and techniques you can employ to keep your mental health in check.

Should You Choose Individual or Group Therapy?

When you mention therapy to someone, the thought that comes to their mind is a one on one session with a psychiatrist or therapist. But, group therapy is also available, and it works effectively.

What are the advantages of each? When you go through individual therapy, you build rapport with one person, which means you’ll be comfortable sharing even delicate information. Also, you can get customised attention.

When it comes to group therapy, you listen and interact with people who are battling depression like you. This can go a long way to make you feel like you’re not alone.

Also, listening to people who have battled against depression and won can give you the confidence you need to fight against yours. And apart from providing these advantages, group therapy allows you to network and socialise.

Networking and socialising with your peers are critical factors towards getting rid of depression.

Using Vitamins and Supplements to Fight Depression

Even though you can get supplements easily in local stores, their efficiency in treating depression has not been proven scientifically.

If you’re having depression symptoms may be because of poor dieting, then taking vitamin supplements can help you. However, you should only use them after getting advice from your doctor.

If you want to try out herbal and natural supplements, keep in mind that they may have side effects and can interfere with the drugs you’re taking. For instance, St. John’s Wort is an excellent herb used for treating mild to moderate depression.

However, it can interfere with medicines like antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners. Therefore, you should not take anything without consulting your healthcare professional.

Depression is one of the worst mental health conditions. It can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life and even lead to actions such as suicide and self-harm.

If you or your loved one is going through this condition, get help as soon as possible. A medical professional can make a thorough evaluation and recommend the best form of action.

Conditions we treat

A list of depression conditions we treat include:

  • Dysthymia
  • Minor and major depression
  • Atypical depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mania

Initial assessment

Before rehabilitation for depression is allowed to commence our admissions team carries out a thorough assessment of patients’ circumstances. This assessment allows our team to formulate a personalised rehabilitation programme.

Whilst symptoms of depression are common amongst suffers, the causes of depression vary. During the assessment, our team note patients’ circumstances and the likely causes of their depression.

Following the assessment we typically recommend rehabilitation which is residential in nature. If you live in London you may qualify for outpatient rehabilitation.

Our residential rehabilitation centres are located throughout the United Kingdom. Residential rehabilitation means you receive round the clock medical attention whilst you receive treatment for your depression.

Severe depression is debilitating for the sufferer. Often the condition has detrimental consequences for all aspects of sufferers’ lives, including social, professional and family aspects of life.

Depression commonly accompanies addiction to substances and other mental conditions. This would include ‘co-occurring’ conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders and addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

Depression rehabilitation programme

Our depression treatment is designed to overcome specific challenges met by sufferers. The treatment takes place in a nurturing environment. Family members are welcome to particulate. Treatments primary goal is the total and unconditional recovery from depression.

When you enter a rehabilitation centre you gain access to world-wide-acclaimed therapy and counselling sessions. Medication is offered to reduce the anxiety you may feel. ‘Adaptive’ coping strategies are taught during psychotherapy sessions.

You may require detoxification before counselling commences. This is the case if you are addicted to anti-depressant drugs such as Zoloft, Prozac or Paxil. Withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored by our medical team. Prescription drugs are offered to ease withdrawal symptoms during detox.

Depression therapy

Once detoxification concludes therapy commences. Therapy is conducted either in small groups or one-on-one with therapies. Sessions are designed to identify the root causes of depression.

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps patients understand the link between destructive thoughts which give rise to depression. Patients are taught the mental skills needed to challenge negative thoughts. Patients are taught to develop healthy alternatives.

Causes of depression

Common causes of depression include:

  • Traumatic events in the sufferer’s past
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Genetics
  • Hormone imbalances

During group therapy sessions depression sufferers gain the opportunity to work together and listen to one another’s experiences with depression. Group therapy is proven as an effective way to treat depression.

Powerful coping strategies preventing relapse are taught through written exercises. Coping mechanisms prevent depression from relapsing once patients leave our centre.

Family therapy and depression

Another important aspect of depression therapy is ‘family therapy’. With your consent family members are invited to attend the centre in order to contribute to treatment. Family members are taught about depression, its causes and the techniques we use to treat it.

Importantly family members are taught to recognise the signs of relapse. This knowledge provides a powerful initial line of defence once patients leave our centre should relapse threaten progress made in treatment up to that point in time.

Signs of relapse

Common signs of relapse which family members are taught to identify include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling worthless/low self-esteem
  • Irrationality
  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Lack of concentration
  • Excessive sleep
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Suicidal thoughts

Alternative therapies

Other than traditional psychotherapy we offer a range of ‘alternative therapies’ in treating depression. These therapies include meditation, art therapy, relaxation, hypnosis and hypnosis.

Aftercare programme

Once patients leave our centre an aftercare programme is put in place. When rehabilitation draws to conclusion patients meet with their rehabilitation team and a formal plan is put in place to provide continued treatment for the next 12 months.

Outpatient appointments may be necessary and a helpline is provided. We encourage patients to attend depression support groups in their local area.

Contacting Rehab 4 Addiction

At our rehabilitation centres staff are friendly and some are recovered depression sufferers. If you seek treatment taking place in tranquil and relaxing surroundings look no further. Call Rehab 4 Addiction today on 0800 140 4690. Alternatively complete the enquiry form.