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NHS is set to recommend treatment before antidepressants




New guidance encourages physicians to provide treatment and exercise to patients (Photo: Getty Images)

NHS doctors will first be told to provide antidepressant alternatives to people with mild depression.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said it is necessary to provide patients with treatment or exercise options and suggest group classes such as meditation and behavior therapy.

The new draft guidelines to be discussed also require the option of making individual counseling sessions available.

They say: “Do not routinely provide antidepressants as a first-line treatment for mild depression unless it is a person’s preference.”

Nice encourages doctors to participate in conversations about what is most suitable for the patient. The group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be offered as first-line treatment instead of standard medication, he added.

Treatment focuses on how thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors interact, set goals, and teach better coping skills.

Barbara Sahakian, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, said the treatment was “much better” but patients “must be devoted to them” and require effort. ..

She told the BBC Radio 4 Today Program: You have mild depression. “

Other interventions proposed by Nice include group behavioral activation (BA). This helps people recognize negative patterns and focus on behaviors related to mood improvement.

An individual’s BA or CBT may also be provided with group mindfulness or meditation, group exercise and counseling.

According to Nice, a “menu” of treatment can be provided as part of discussions about possible causes of depression and previous mental health and treatment deficiencies.

The new draft guidelines state that it is the first time in 12 years to identify, treat and manage depression in adults.

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Those who opt for first-line treatment for more severe depression have access to a similar range of psychological interventions, along with antidepressant drug choices.

Dr. Paul Crisp, Director of the Guidelines Center in Nice, said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic shows the impact of depression on the country’s mental health.

“People with depression need the recommendations of these evidence-based guidelines that the NHS can use without delay.”

Guidance also informs doctors that they may need to discuss their mental health waiting list with their patients and wait for treatment.

Nav Kapur, a professor of psychiatry and artificial health at the University of Manchester and chair of the Guidelines Committee, said: ..

“In particular, we emphasized the role of patient choice. Practitioners need to provide evidence-based treatment options to people and understand that not all treatments are suitable for everyone. It suggests that. “

The guidelines also state that doctors should discuss what happens if people want to stop taking antidepressants.

More than 20 million antidepressants were prescribed between October and December 2020, according to NHS Business Services Authority figures. This is an increase of 6% compared to the same three months in 2019.

The use of antidepressants has been steadily increasing since 2015.

A September study of the New England Journal of Medicine found that people taking antidepressants for a long time were less likely to relapse than people taking antidepressants.

Experts behind the study said it supported the current prescription and dismissed the idea that people taking long-term antidepressants were taking antidepressants unnecessarily. rice field.

They also found that many people can safely stop taking the drug if they receive the appropriate support.

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