Depression treatment and help

Depression is a normal emotion, which can lead to a very serious illness (often called major depression, clinical depression or depressive illness). Living with the condition should never be an option for anyone as depression treatment exists and can help alleviate suffering. The Priory has a number of clinics where depression help, support and counselling is available.

What is depression?-

Depression is an illness, not a sign of weakness, nobody is immune to depression and it can happen at any age. In fact, around 10% of men and 25% of women will develop it at some point in their life. Do not consider living with depression though, timely help and counselling can make a lot of difference.


Although you might find it hard to believe now, you can tackle your depressive illness and achieve positive mental wellbeing again.

At the Priory we offer tailored depression treatment programmes for individuals, based on their medical history and personal experience. A specialist consultant will oversee your treatment, which will usually include a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and may also include medication.

Our holistic approach to depression treatment includes varied exercise programmes as well as a nationwide network of support groups. We encourage healthy eating to promote your long term recovery.

Depression outpatient package

Priory also provides a tailored 1:1 outpatient therapy package for depressive disorders. Our packages offer certainty of price for a set amount of 1:1 therapy sessions, including discounted rates. The amount of sessions we recommend within each package is based on national guidelines.

Depressive illness is treatable, that’s why over 93% of those being treated for it at a Priory hospital or clinic last year showed improved mental wellbeing.

What are the symptoms of depression and causes?-

For many people, depression is triggered by:

  • A stressful life event – bereavement, divorce or social isolation
  • Alcohol or drug use – some medical treatments may cause depression
  • Non-psychiatric illness
  • Psychiatric syndromes

Common symptoms of depression include, feeling a persistent loss of one or more of these emotions:

  • A lack of energy, motivation, enthusiasm, concentration, processing abilities
  • Confidence, self esteem, sex drive
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Positive feelings, such as love and hope

In addition you may experience:

  • Feeling worse in the morning
  • Increased or reduced sleep
  • Increased or reduced appetite
  • Significantly lower mood

What are the treatments for depression?-

Although it may be hard for you to believe, you can overcome your depressive illness by receiving depression treatment. The treatments most commonly used are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a type of psychotherapy, and antidepressants. Both are proven to be successful in combating depression.

Can a psychiatric assessment help me with depression?-

Just as a patient sees a doctor about a physical illness, a psychiatrist will look at your symptoms and explore how they have developed.

A psychiatrist will try to find out what makes you likely to suffer a depressive illness. Are you generally more negative or do you suffer from low self-esteem? Does the condition run in your family? Are there unresolved long-term problems? The use of alcohol and drugs, both medicinal and recreational, can also significantly influence an individual’s mood. You will be asked to provide information about your medical history, as some illnesses like an underactive thyroid may cause depression and it helps the psychiatrist to decide what medicine is most suitable.

The psychiatrist will look for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms. One of the most important is to determine whether you are so depressed, you may have suicidal thoughts.

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Depression treatment and help, please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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Should I go into care?

Most people can be treated as an outpatient. However, some people want more intensive treatment and support within either a day-care programme or as an inpatient, at least until they feel signs of improvement.

How does cognitive behaviour therapy work in the treatment of depression?

CBT tackles your negative thoughts. For example, when something negative happens in daily life, depressed people blame themselves. However, when a positive occurrence takes place, they tell themselves that they've just been lucky. They also assume that other people are reacting negatively to them. Cognitive behaviour therapy helps people think in a more balanced way and challenges a person's assumptions about their lives. It aims to identify and change aspects of behaviour that may cause or prolong symptoms of depression.

What change will cognitive behaviour therapy have?

By helping you change the way you think about life, you'll be able to accept failures more easily and take credit for your achievements. CBT aims to give you skills for life, reducing the likelihood of you becoming depressed again.

Will cognitive behaviour therapy work for all cases?

Although CBT is likely to form the basis of psychotherapy programme, other forms of therapy may also be helpful. For example, if you were abused as a child, or you are finding it difficult to come to terms with a bereavement, this would need to be dealt with in its own right.

What are antidepressants?

Antidepressant medication will be the first line of treatment if:

  • Your depression is severe or comes and goes
  • You've responded well to medication in the past
  • There's a history of depression in your family
  • Or, you have not responded to psychotherapy

Which antidepressants will I be given?

There are many different antidepressants. The choice of medicines is based on a number of factors, and we will discuss this with you and possibly members of your family.

How long will antidepressants take to work?

Antidepressants take time to have an effect, often a number of weeks, because they're helping nerve cells recover and resume their usual role in regulating mood.

Are antidepressants dangerous?

Antidepressants are not dangerous, so long as you take them as prescribed. They are not addictive and can relieve your depression effectively.

Self help for living with depression?

Self help can make a difference. Joining a self help group is a great way to discover that you are not alone and are not the only one to suffer from self-blame, rage and despair. Try to eat regularly and have a good diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Exercise will help relieve stress and tension, whether aerobic exercise such as jogging or more relaxing exercise such as yoga.

Please remember the following:

  • Depression is an illness, not a sign of weakness
  • Treatment is effective and there are many treatment options available
  • There is a suitable treatment for every person
  • The aim of treatment is to get 100% well and stay well

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