Depression: New Guidance
Therapy, exercise, mindfulness and meditation trump medication, under new NICE guidelines.
The rise in people experiencing depression has prompted a review of the best way to support them and so new guidance by NICE is very much welcomed. It is the first draft guideline in 12 years to identify, treat and manage depression in adults. As the body that professionals should adhere to, the new recommendations, currently under consultation, are more likely to be put into practice. And the move away from anti-depressants will be appealing for those people experiencing symptoms but wanting to avoid medication, and so they may be more inclined to seek professional help.
- Exercise to release chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and improve sleep
- Mindfulness, paying more attention to the present moment, touching base with how we are right now, to reduce being caught up in our thoughts, without noticing how these thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour. It is possible to engage in everyday activities by being mindful, including eating, walking, having a shower.
- Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness. It is often associated with ‘non-doing’, being still, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
- Therapy. I use the Human Givens approach to psychotherapy as it is practical, forward-focused, short-term and uses the best of other models, such as CBT, to provide a fluid and flexible experience for clients. People come to me directly but organisations looking to make a meaningful difference for their employees are increasingly funding such intervention, to keep people in work and avoid absence or leaving work permanently.
During the last month, have they often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
During the last month, have they often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?