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Understanding your Depression: Treatment and Management Options

Medical treatment and management of depression, no matter what form, is always recommended. Only a trained medical professional can provide a comprehensive diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for a depression suffer. Most people with depression are treated by their family doctor, however the types of treatment that a doctor might prescribe are different. There are no clinical tests for depression, so detailed interviews and questionnaires are often used to make a diagnosis. According to the NHS (2009), there are classifications of mental illness that are commonly used in questionnaires to measure depression:

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - This is a classification system based on all the known recorded symptoms associated with a particular mental condition. Your GP will ask you if you have certain symptoms, and depending on your answers, will be able to use the system to identify what the condition is.
  • International Classification of Diseases - This is a similar system of classifications, again based on the known symptoms associated with particular diseases. Developed by the World Health Organization, it is a much wider system, covering all diseases (not just mental health). Your GP will ask you about your symptoms in order to classify your condition.

Depending on your symptoms, the severity of the depression and your own individual circumstances, the doctor may suggest a combination of:

  • Talking treatment
  • Medication treatment
  • Self-Help
  • Other treatment options

It is important that you have an understanding of the different types of treatments available and what might work for you. This will allow you to make a more informed decision with your doctor about the best treatment for your condition. In future articles a summary of the main types will be given.

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