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Depression | Symptoms | Treatment | Testing | Cause | Depression and stress | Medication | People with depression | Psychotic | Postnatal | Effects | Clinically depressed | Support in the UK | Depression and anxiety | Bipolar disorder

Depression can be treated in a variety of ways. Much will depend on the severity of the condition and the symptoms being experienced. Your local doctor or a mental health expert will assess your condition to decide which method of treatment, or combination of treatments, is likely to be most effective.

The main form of medication used to treated depression will be antidepressants. In severe cases of depression, such as those with an element of psychosis, tranquillizers may be prescribed.

A range of therapy techniques are also used to address depression. Cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are most commonly used as they help the individual gain control over the condition.

Your doctor may also recommend exercise to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, and can greatly reduce an individual's level of depression.

As previously mentioned, the type of treatment for depression will depend on the severity of the condition. Mild depression is typically treated with antidepressants. Moderate depression is usually addressed with either an antidepressant or cognitive therapy. Severe depression will probably require both medication and therapy before any improvements can be seen.

Most cases of depression can be successfully treated, although it can take several months before a full recovery is made. However, some people don't respond well to therapy or medication. In such instances, the individual may have little option but to learn to manage their condition.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of support in the UK for people suffering from long term depression. A good starting point is the charity Depression Alliance which provides information and support through publications, supporter services and a network of self-help groups. You can contact the charity on 0845 123 2320, or visit www.depressionalliance.org for further details.

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