How is Depression Treated?

In any case where depression may be a factor, it is important that the individual talk to their GP or other appropriately-qualified health care professional about their symptoms in order to get a correct diagnosis. This will also help to rule out any physical cause, such as hypothyroidism, which may cause symptoms similar to those seen in depression. In Ireland, the GP is the foremost route to accessing the range of mental health care services which are available.

Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options for depression and other types of mood disorder. The best and most appropriate treatment option depends on the individual case, the likely cause of depression and the severity of symptoms. Treatments usually come under two main headings: medication and talking therapies. In some cases, a combination of both might be the most appropriate treatment plan for that individual.Other things that can prove helpful include:

Lifestyle changes

  • Regular exercise
  • Reduction in caffeine intake as caffeine can cause increased heart rate and anxiety
  • Avoiding alcohol as it is a depressant
  • Access support: Aware offers free CBT based programmes called Life Skills as well as daily support via our Support Line in 1800 80 4848 and email,

You may wish to check out the Aware lecture by Ms Deirdre McCormack, June 2013, ‘The Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Coping with Depression‘ to learn more about life style changes.


  • Getting information about depression and related mood disorders from reputable ‘self-help’ books can have a positive impact, usually in cases where the depression is mild.
  • View our literature section to read more about specific types of depression or mood disorder.

As with any other health condition, it is important that we do not self-diagnose or self-treat where depression or mood disorder is concerned. It is vital to have an appropriately-qualified healthcare professional oversee all aspects of care and treatment. To find a GP in your area, contact the Irish College of General Practitioners on 01 676 3705 or zoom to your area on this interactive map.


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