There are a number of different treatments that can be helpful for people with depression. Some treatments might be more suitable for you than others, depending on your age, family circumstances, and how severe your depression is.
There are different kinds of psychological therapies, or ‘talking therapies’ that can be used to help someone with depression. Some people will have one-on-one therapy where they will work with a professional on their own. Some people may do this type of therapy online.
You might have heard of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which helps you to manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
There are other therapies that might be helpful, including Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), group therapy and family therapy.
Everyone is different and it is important to work with professionals to find the right therapy for you. Your therapist should explain what kind of therapy you are having, and how it works.
When your depression is severe or has been going on for a long time, you might be prescribed medication called antidepressants to help improve your mood. This can make it easier for you to take part in a psychological therapy.
Antidepressants need to be prescribed by a specialist doctor, called a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, after a careful assessment. In this assessment you will be asked questions to make sure that antidepressants are right for you. You will also get to ask any questions you might have. Before being given antidepressants, you may need a physical health check-up.
Once you have started taking antidepressants, you will need regular check-ups with a psychiatrist and other mental health professionals. This is to check that they are working for you and not causing you any problems. You should let your psychiatrist know if you are having any side-effects, and they will tell you what side-effects to look out for.
If you find that the antidepressants help you to feel better, you would normally take them for at least six months after they start to work. However, you might need to take them for longer if you have had depression before, or if you still have a lot of stresses in your life. This is to reduce the risk of you developing depression again.
If you are prescribed antidepressants, it is important that you take them the way you have been told to (i.e. the same amount every day). When you stop taking antidepressants, this is usually done gradually over a few weeks or months. If you want to stop taking your antidepressants, speak to your doctor before doing so.