NHS could give therapy before anti-depressants, under new guidelines

The BBC reports:

People in England with mild depression should first be offered behavioural therapy or group exercise instead of medication, according to new advice.

The clinical watchdog [the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)] also recommends mindfulness and meditation as possible alternatives to anti-depressants in new guidelines under consultation.

Anti-depressant use has increased in recent years – with an estimated one in seven people in England taking them.

More than 20 million were prescribed in just three months last year.

The draft guidelines, which are subject to consultation, say: ‘Do not routinely offer antidepressant medication as first-line treatment for less severe depression, unless that is the person’s preference.’

They call on doctors to involve patients in conversations about what would suit them best, but say group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could be offered as a first treatment …”

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