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Understanding NICE guidance
Information for people who use NHS services

Treating depression in adults
NICE `clinical This booklet is about the care and treatment of people with depression in
guidelines' advise the NHS in England and Wales. It explains guidance (advice) from NICE (the
National Institute for Health and Clinical…

Page 2

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Your care 3
Depression 4
What should happen when I first talk to a 5
healthcare professional?
Who will provide my treatment? 7
What treatments should I be offered? 7
Treatments for mild to moderate depression 9
Treatments for moderate or severe depression 13
How can I stay well…

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Your care
In the NHS, patients and healthcare professionals have
rights and responsibilities as set out in the NHS Constitution
( All NICE
guidance is written to reflect these. You have the right to be involved in
discussions and make informed decisions about your treatment and care
with your healthcare…

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Depression is a common mental health problem ­ it affects nearly 1 in
6 people in the UK. The main symptoms of depression are losing pleasure
in things that were once enjoyable and losing interest in other people and
usual activities. A person with depression may also commonly experience…

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Healthcare professionals may use different terms for depression, such as
`major depressive disorder' or `clinical depression'.
Sometimes a person has very few symptoms of depression that don't
affect their life too much in the short term but can do if they continue for
a long time ­ `dysthymia' is a…

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Healthcare professionals should be aware of any sensitive issues relating to
being diagnosed with depression and should build a relationship with you
based on openness, trust, hope and optimism. They should explain the
different ways in which depression develops. They should also discuss the
treatments described in this booklet with…

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What are my rights regarding my treatment and care?
If you are concerned about not being able to make important decisions
at any time (for instance, if you have severe depression or depression
accompanied by hallucinations and delusions) you can write some
instructions (called advance statements and advance decisions).

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If you have both depression and anxiety, you will be treated first for the
one that causes you the most problems. Because treatments for anxiety
and depression are similar, treatment for one condition can often help
the other.
Once you have started treatment, your healthcare professional should
check whether you…

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Treatments for mild to moderate depression
Mild depression can sometimes get better by itself without treatment or by
following advice from your GP (or other healthcare professional) on coping
with problems and improving sleep. They should offer you advice on going
to bed and getting up at regular times, not…

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Initial treatments for mild to moderate depression1

What treatment What does it involve? How long does it usually
have I been offered? last?

Self-help programme A treatment in which a person works through a G Up to 6 to 8 sessions over
book, often called a self-help manual. 9 to…


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