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Explains what antidepressants are, how they work, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.
If you don't want to take antidepressants, there are lots of alternative treatments you can try. In fact, unless your depression is very severe, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend that antidepressants should not be your main treatment.
NICE suggests that before prescribing you medication, your doctor should recommend:
(See our pages on talking treatments for more information about the different kinds that are available).
"Antidepressants didn’t work for me – I took [an antidepressant] for many months without recovering from depression. [For me], mindfulness helps to change the way you think and how you deal with negative thoughts."
Other things you could try include:
This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.