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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    can you treat depression without consulting a doctor or professional?

    Can you try and treat depression by yourself or with the help from family/friends, rather than going to see a doctor or professional and without the help from medication? if so, how?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Leanne Hall

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Integrative Psychologist, Health Coach & Personal Trainer in private practice. I have expertise in assessing and treating a range of disorders and conditions; depression, anxiety, ... View Profile

    The term “depression” can mean different things to different people. At times it is used to describe an emotional response that is within the normal range of human emotion. At other times, it is used to describe something much more serious. The answer to you question very much depends on where your symptoms lie on this continuum. You can do many things to help with “normal” range depression. With this type of depression, symptoms are not quite severe enough to be interfering with every day functioning. The key to managing this is to maintain your routine - keep going to work/school, socialise with friends, and keep doing all those things that you enjoy. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, and eat well and exercise regularly. You can also try meditation, as relaxation is very important. Think about what is happening in your life, and write down some goals - things that you would like to change. Start small, and reward yourself when you achieve each goal. 

    On the other hand, if your symptoms are beginning to impact on your life and relationships in a negative way, and/or if you have a history of depression, I would always recommend that you talk to your local GP. They may or may not recommend medication, but a referral to a clinical psychologist would help you learn ways to manage your symptoms. Think of it like learning a new set of skills! What you learn in a few sessions, you take with you for the rest of your life!  

  • 1


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease ... View Profile

    I agree with what Leanne has suggested, with one caveat:

    "I would always recommend that you talk to your local GP."

    I suggest that you check out the beyondblue site ( - it is searchable for GPs where you live who have *documented* experience of helping clients with mental health issues.

    A GP with such experience is more likely to be helpful than one chosen “off the shelf”.

  • 1


    Dianne Zebic

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Dianne Zebic has retired as of 31/01/2015 View Profile

    I agree with both of the above responses made by Leanne & Dr Easterbrook-Smith.

    In all cases it is best to consult with your doctor or seek help from a mental health professional like a counsellor or psychologist, as you could be at a potential risk of harm, if you are not properly assessed  or managed by a health professional.

    Taking a risk to treat yourself, is something I would not advise you to do, as this is why professional help is needed asap.

    If your depression is not properly managed and treated it can get worse and it will affect your quality and personal life and affect your work and relationships with others.

    If you want proper treatment seeking professional help is the safest and most effective way to go.

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