Treatment for Depression

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by bigpod, Mar 7, 2007.

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  1. In m last job I frequently saw people receive simple medication for depression, often very successfully.

    I am now seeing a few serving soldiers who I FEEL (I'm no doctor) would benefit from medication, but they are all scared to present to the MO with depression. They are not just clinically fed-up. They don't want time off or sympathy, just to be able to work without the feelings depression causes.

    Can a serving soldier get medicated without it affecting their career?

  2. NICE guidelines advise that mild depression should be treated with talking therapies and not medication.

    However if a serving soldier does require medication, it will have implications as current guidelines suggest a period of medical downgrading is required.

  3. My bold. I think that should read "may". Remember, guidelines are exactly what they say on the tin - guidelines.
  4. Certainly councelling and learning coping techniques can help a lot, and mainstream antidepressants are perhaps not the best things for an active serviceman to be taking.

    There are some who suggest the taking of St Johns Wort can help and this is available on supermarket shelves.

    What ever depression mild or otherwise is not something which should be left untreated.

  5. St. John's Wort is , according to some research, no better than placebo. It also reacts badly with lots of other medications and reduces their effectiveness. Females who are on the contraceptive pill shouldn't go near St. John's Wort as it dramatically reduces the pill's effects.

    There are no proper clinical trials that prove its effectiveness hence the reason it isn't prescribed by Consultants, GPs, nurses et al

    In my experience excercise and a CBT type approach to mild depression are by far the most effective, with a small dose of medication if needed.
  6. This is a simple question that has no simple answer.

    The choice of treatment is predicated on the clinical presentation.

    Would you rather have someone with significant depression on treatment in your section or someone with untreated depression? I would suggest the former.

    The decision to downgrade is really based on the perceived risk to the soldier and those around him. By treating effectively, one can reduce the risk and the requirement to downgrade.

    If the soldier is deployed to an area where med re-supply is difficult and guaranteeing medication access may be a problem, then one might downgrade.

    Side effects from meds shouldn't be a problem after the initial loading period, therefore cognitive ability shouldn't be an issue, but it might when routine tasking is taken into consideration.

    Anyhow, the point is that there is no simple solution.

    When we last audited our work, most of the soldiers referred to our department did not require medication and responded quite well to psychological intervention and advice.

    Contact with the mental health services, with a successful outcome and no relapse shouldn’t affect the soldier’s career long-term.

    Hope this helps.