It’s normal for everyone to feel sad or upset from time-to-time, but if these feelings are intense, persistent or are affecting your quality of life, you may be suffering with depression.
COVID-19: Customer Update
To protect both patients and staff, we are not currently offering face-to-face therapy on an outpatient or day care basis at our Hospitals or Wellbeing Centres. Assessments and therapy can still be accessed remotely via our Priory Connect video service and through Skype.
Inpatient services are still available across our network of private healthcare hospitals, with flexible options for pre-admission assessments being offered.
Advice for those struggling with depression
In this video, Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Liam Parsonage, offers his advice and support for those struggling with feelings of depression during the COVID-19 outbreak. Under such difficult circumstances, he explains why people with depression might be feeling worse, or others may be developing lower moods. He also provides tips on how to boost wellbeing and thought processes.
Support for expats during the coronavirus outbreak
In this short video, Dr Paul McLaren discusses the issues expats may be facing during the COVID-19 outbreak, such as depression and anxiety. He offers his support for those very far away from home, who may be feeling more isolated than most, and offers practical tips on how to look after mental wellbeing during this difficult time.
While depression is a common mental health condition, it can also be very difficult to cope with. Also, the symptoms of depression, including feeling hopeless, can sometimes prevent people from getting the help they need. However, depression is treatable and it’s possible for you to make a full recovery. Seeking help for depression can be daunting but it really is the most important step you can take. At Priory, our counsellors can provide the best treatment for depression available. We can deliver bespoke depression treatment programmes, personalised according to your unique needs.
Whether you need help for mild depression, moderate depression or severe depression, Priory can help you every step of the way towards getting your life back on track.
Priory Connect - Video access to expert specialists from the comfort of your home
Priory offers video access to therapy and assessments. You will benefit from the same high regulatory standards received across all Priory services, and will be treated by highly trained therapists who are experts in their field. Click here to find out more.
What is depression?
It’s important to understand that depression is an illness, not a sign of weakness. It can affect anybody, and people can experience it at any point in their lives.
Depression causes you to experience persistent low moods. Sometimes, these can be so bad that you find that you can’t function effectively in your daily life. Ongoing sadness can also mean you have less motivation and can ultimately have an impact on lots of different areas of your life, affecting you:
However, the good news is that you don’t have to suffer on your own; you can make a full recovery from depression and return to the happy and healthy life you deserve. Expert help and support are just a phone call away so don’t hesitate to get in touch, and arrange an appointment with one of our depression therapists today.
Depression is treatable and you can make a full recovery
Our expert team is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, depression counsellors and other trained experts. We can provide high quality depression treatment at our specialist hospitals and wellbeing centres, located all over the country.
It’s important to know that:
You’re not alone
Depression is treatable
You can receive a completely personalised depression treatment programme with us
Our experts are committed to providing individually tailored treatment, helping you to overcome your depression. We offer a variety of different depression treatment options; these are outlined in more detail below.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression
CBT is used all over the world to treat depression. It’s based on the principle that depression arises and is made worse because of deep rooted, negative thought patterns. CBT is a form of counselling for depression, and works by identifying and changing your destructive thought patterns and any negative behaviours. This helps you to think in a more balanced way and challenge any negative assumptions you have.
It also helps you to learn coping mechanisms that you can use for the rest of your life. These allow you to recognise when you’re experiencing negative thoughts, and then respond to them in a healthy way. This reduces the likelihood of you becoming depressed again in the future.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for depression
DBT is an effective therapy technique used to treat more severe forms of depression.
It is based on the principles of CBT but has been specially designed to help individuals who struggle with very intense emotions as part of their depression. DBT focuses on helping you to accept yourself and accept change. This enables you to reduce your distressing emotions, manage better in times of crisis and return to a healthier way of life.
One-to-one therapy for depression
One-to-one therapy takes place on an individual basis between you and the most appropriate depression therapist for your needs.
It allows you to talk in depth to a psychiatrist about your depression, in a highly supportive environment. Your specialist will help you to tackle your unique concerns, and support you achieve the best possible outcomes for you as an individual.
Group therapy for depression
Group therapy takes place with a group of other patients who are struggling with similar issues to you, or who have also been diagnosed with depression. During these sessions, you will be encouraged to share your experiences with others and offer mutual support and guidance. This all takes place within a compassionate and non-judgemental setting.
Group therapy may seem to be a little daunting at first. However, research shows that it’s an effective therapy technique and can help to treat depression.
Family therapy for depression
Family therapy takes place with yourself and your immediate family unit or loved ones.
It allows you and your family to have an open and honest conversation with each other. This helps everyone involved to develop a better understanding of your depression and the impact it’s having on you and those who are closest to you. This form of therapy is helpful as it allows you and your family to plan how you can support each other better moving forwards.
I felt quite useless and a failure, and I now feel as if I'm worth something. If you are sitting in the position I was in a few year ago, I would suggest taking that leap of faith and make that phone call. It is hard but it's well worth it!
Margaret, Priory Hospital Glasgow
Antidepressant medication to help with depression
You can also take antidepressant medication alongside CBT and other forms of therapy. This can help to complement the talking therapies and also acts as a further barrier against your depression.
However, for some people, antidepressants will be the first line of treatment for depression, especially when:
Your depression is severe or comes and goes
You have responded well to antidepressants in the past
There is a history of depression in your family
Your depression is making you feel suicidal
The most common type of antidepressants used to treat depression are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, we can also prescribe antidepressants from other classes, depending on your individual needs. Antidepressants aren’t addictive and it’s easy to stop taking them, as and when the time comes.
At Priory, we’ll work closely with you to find the best type of antidepressant medication for you personally. We also offer pharmacogenetic testing at our sites in Harley Street and North London, which helps us to choose the best medication for your unique needs, and one which causes the least side effects.
Rapid acting programme in depression (RAPID) by triple chronotherapy
RAPID by triple chronotherapy is an effective and non-invasive depression treatment method. It consists of:
Phased sleep advance
Bright light therapy
This treatment method has been found to have positive effects on people’s depression symptoms after only a few days. Also, RAPID by triple chronotherapy has fewer potential side effects than antidepressants.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
Talking therapies and antidepressants haven’t been successful
When you are unable to take medication
Outpatient, inpatient and day care treatment for depression
We can provide outpatient, inpatient or day care treatment for depression at Priory, and we will work closely with you to decide which option is the best for you.
Outpatient treatment for depression
During outpatient treatment for depression, you will attend one of our hospitals or centres to receive a set number of hourly therapy sessions. These will take place with a psychiatrist, consultant or therapist and usually happen on a weekly basis.
Outpatient treatment is useful if you don’t need more intensive forms of treatment for your depression, such as day care or inpatient treatment. It also means you can attend flexible appointments that can be arranged around your work and other commitments.
You can either come straight into outpatient therapy with us, or you can use this type of therapy as a step-down from more intensive treatment.
At our Priory Wellbeing Centres, we have an outpatient therapy package that has been specially designed to treat depression. This offers:
Inpatient treatment consists of you staying at one of our hospitals on a residential basis, where you will receive round-the-clock support for your depression.
Inpatient treatment is useful if you need structured and intensive treatment to help you to overcome your depression. It also gives you chance to spend some time away from your usual living situation, which can help to remove any negative influences that might be making your depression worse.
Coming into hospital for treatment and therapy can be an overwhelming thought for many people. However, this type of treatment can have a positive impact on your quality of life. It provides you with the time, care and attention you need to fully address your depression and get well again.
Help for depression on a day care basis
We can also provide depression treatment on a day care basis. During day care, you will attend one of our Priory sites for a certain number of days each week, where you will receive depression therapy and treatment.
However, unlike inpatient treatment, you won’t stay at the hospital overnight, but will return home following a day of therapy. This can be helpful if you don’t need intensive 24-hour care, but do still need some structured therapy. It also means you can receive a full programme of depression treatment, while having the flexibility to live at home. Day care can be used as a step-down in intensity from inpatient treatment or a step-up from outpatient treatment, if needed.
This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Leon Rozewicz (MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCGP, MRCPsych) in June 2018, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in June 2020. To view all Priory depression specialists, please click here.
What causes depression?
There are a number of factors that can make it more likely that you will develop depression at some point during your life. These include:
Experiencing abuse and/or neglect, especially during childhood
Experiencing distressing life events e.g. losing your job, going through a divorce, or losing someone you love
Having a family history of depression or other mental health problems
Having a personal history of other mental health problems
Struggling with serious physical health problems such as cancer
Having certain personality traits such as low self-esteem or being very self-critical
Types of depression?
There are a number of different types of depression. These are classified based on the impact they can have on you and the symptoms of each. They include:
At Priory, we don’t just treat adults with depression - we are also able to provide expert depression treatment for patients who are under the age of 18 years.
More information on the mental health support that we offer for young people can be found on our young people’s services page.
Depression treatment FAQs
Will I need to be admitted to hospital to get help for depression?
Most people can be treated for depression as an outpatient. This means you will attend a number of therapy sessions at one of our sites, at a time that is convenient for you. However, some people need more intensive depression help and support, at least until they feel signs of improvement in their mood. More intensive treatment can take place as part of our day care programme or by coming into hospital as an inpatient.
How can CBT help with depression?
CBT will provide you with the skills to challenge and change your negative thought patterns. It will teach you new and healthier ways to look at situations and help you to develop a more positive outlook. Overall, CBT aims to give you skills for life, enabling lifelong recovery and reducing the chances of you becoming depressed again.
Will CBT work in all cases of depression?
CBT is likely to form the basis of a depression treatment programme, but other forms of therapy may also be helpful. Also, if you have any underlying problems, such as trauma and bereavement, these issues will need to be dealt with separately with the most appropriate therapy technique.
Which antidepressant medication will I be given?
There are lots of different types of antidepressant medication that can be useful when treating depression. The most common types of antidepressants are SSRIs. However, if you need medication for your depression, the type that you have will be based on a number of factors, which will be discussed during your initial assessment.
How long do antidepressants take to work?
Antidepressants take time to have a noticeable effect, often a number of weeks. This is because they are helping nerve cells to recover and resume their usual role in regulating your mood.
Are antidepressants dangerous?
Antidepressant medications aren’t dangerous, as long as you take them as they have been prescribed. They aren’t addictive, and have been found to be very effective in relieving the symptoms of depression.