Self Help and Depression
Treatments for depression
Antidepressants and talking therapies (counselling or psychotherapy) are very helpful and can be accessed through your GP. You should contact your GP early if you think you might be becoming depressed. Mindfulness can help too, especially if you have been depressed before.
Depression makes us shut ourselves away and slows us down. It can be very hard, but keeping active and staying with people can be very helpful. Remaining in work or returning to work might be very hard too, but can help us keep a sense of control. Keeping a normal daily routine is usually much better than withdrawing and staying in bed. We might feel like shutting ourselves away, but doing so can make things worse.
Dealing with things
Putting off problems can make them mount up. Are there things in your life you're putting off dealing with? Might an advocate or some extra support help? The Citizens Advice Bureau can help with a range of issues from housing to money worries. Doing things to address our problems relieves the burden and makes us feel 'in control' again.
If you're struggling with a difficult relationship, or depression is causing problems in your relationship you can find a list of national relationship helping agencies, or speak to your GP about other types of relationship counselling.
Avoiding alcohol and drugs
Alcohol is a depressant - it lowers the mood. Other non-prescribed drugs can have similar effects and are best avoided. If you think alcohol or drug use might be a problem, you can contact DAN 24/7, the Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline: DAN 24/7 website or call them on 0808 808 2234.
There are many good books and websites that can help. Again your GP, practice nurse or primary care mental health practitioner will be able to recommend from a range of excellent and helpful material.
The sooner treatment starts, the sooner you'll feel better! If you've been affected by anything you've read here, contact your GP now. Don't delay in seeking help. Depression sometimes lifts on its own, but why take the chance?
You can find a list of national agencies that can help with depression here: National depression Agencies
The maximum score of the PHQ-9 is 27, lower scores are better. Depression severity is calculated by assigning scores of 0, 1, 2 and 3, to the response categories of: 'not at all'; 'several days'; 'more than half the days' and 'nearly every day' respectively. Only the first nine questions are scored by adding the scores of the individual items. The final question, the 'difficulty' item, is not used in calculating any score or diagnosis; but rather represents the patient's global impression of symptom-related impairment. It is strongly associated with both psychiatric symptom severity and health-related quality of life. Scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represent cut-off points for 'mild', 'moderate', 'moderately severe' and 'severe' depression respectively.
You can download a PDF of the above table here: PHQ-9 Table
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. We have used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. We recommend you consult a doctor or other health care professional for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, or if you are at all concerned about your health.