I had a small rant on twitter last night about the NHS’s approach to depression and then woke up to see a tweet about how exercise cures depression.
THERE IS NO ONE FIX FOR DEPRESSION. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
At the moment the NHS is focused heavily on a version of mindfulness. I say a version of, because, like so many things, the NHS is using a watered down version and assuming it’ll fix everyone and everything. Depression? Mindfulness will fix it. Anxiety? Yup, mindfulness for that too. Mindfulness is even rolled out for managing pain.
And yes, mindfulness has benefits for some people in some circumstances. This is not at all a rant about mindfulness.
Before mindfulness, CBT was the fix all. But it wasn’t CBT as it is supposed to be. It was CBT delivered by phone, through internet programmes or in very short courses.
I find these trends in treatment aborrent. Treatment shouldn’t be guided by fashions. It should start with the person. A personalised approach is the only way that you should be looking at this.
Medication works for some people. And not others.
Exercise helps some people. And not others.
CBT helps some people. And not others.
Mindfulness helps some people. And not others.
Are you sensing a trend here?
My experience of different mental health treatments has been varied. The first antidepressents I tried increased my anxiety. The one I’m on now seems to be ok. I tried CBT but that made me worse. I tried mindfulness and that makes my physical pain worse. I would try exercise except I can’t.
For me, a combination of medication and Cognitive Analytical Therapy alongside creative work such as art journalling and self check in methods such as tarot, have helped me.
What doesn’t help is being put in a box and given only what the NHS decide is fashionable. What doesn’t help is being given your four weeks of CBT and then not being able to access any other support because you’ve already had your alloted support. What doesn’t help is the media pushing cures and people shaming me for not exercising.
Everyone is different. Let’s start treating them differently.
Let’s have a range of tools and see what helps.