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Understanding your Depression: Other Treatments

If a combination of the above treatment options are unsuccessful in helping you to treat and manage your depression you may be referred to a mental health team. These teams are made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist nurses and occupational therapists who provide intensive specialist talking treatments, such as psychotherapy.

There are also a range of alternative treatments that may be recommended or discussed with your doctor (NHS, 2009):

  • St John's Wort is a herbal treatment that has shown to be somewhat beneficial in treating mild or moderate depression. According to the NHS (2009) however, its use is not recommended due to the variance in the quantity of its active ingredients among individual brands and batches, meaning there is no way to control dosage or know what effect the treatment is having. It is also not recommended for people on other medications or if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. There are other herbs, minerals and supplements that may be recommended.
  • Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) may be advised if you have severe depression but it is only used when antidepressants and other treatments have not been effective. ECT uses electrical shocks to your brain through electrodes on your head while you are anaesthetised. A series of ECT sessions would be prescribed and while the treatment has an immediate positive effect on a person's mood, there can be side effects such as memory loss.
  • Lithium is a different type of medication that may be prescribed if other treatments do not work. There are two types of lithium - lithium carbonate and lithium citrate. A certain amount of lithium is required in your blood to work, however too much can be toxic.

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