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In the UK, treatment for depression is available for free on the NHS. This is good to know, however it’s important to be aware that there is currently not enough treatment available for everyone to necessarily be supported as and when they want to be.
The NHS says it has capacity to support just 15 percent of people who are identified by their GPs as likely to benefit from talking therapies. In many parts of the country, where demand is high, you will likely be assessed once by your GP and then a second time before learning how quickly you may be able to access talking therapies.
Access to anti-depressant medication is far more readily available than talking therapies. Some people want and respond well to medication, others do not.
Back on antidepressants I felt the pressure release. I felt I could relax and finally be myself. I felt happier and stronger with the feeling of being in control again.”
It’s important to discuss things through with your doctor and express your preferences so a plan can be agreed together.
As with many facets of dealing with mental health, it’s very much a case of trial and error. Previously, my doctors took an aggressive approach that didn’t suit me. Now I have a doctor who lets me take the lead and trusts that I can make the right decisions for myself.
If you are a student, or have a private care plan, you may be able to access treatment through your education or insurance provider quicker than on the NHS.
There can be setbacks on the way to accessing treatment and it can be very helpful to have someone on your side to navigate the road to recovery at a time when you may not feel at your most resilient.