• Question: What treatments do you think are the most effective when dealing with mental health disorders like schizophrenia and depression?

    Asked by Jen to Robert, Olly, Nicola, Jasmin, Dennis, Caroline on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Dennis Relojo-Howell

      Dennis Relojo-Howell answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Hi Jen. CBT has been considered an effective therapy for depressive disorder. While antipsychotic medications are given to those with schizophrenia to effectively manage signs and symptoms.

    • Photo: Caroline Brett

      Caroline Brett answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Medication is probably the best treatment for schizophrenia, to manage the symptoms.
      Depression is a tricky one as sometimes medication is needed to life people’s mood enough for them to be able to address the underlying difficulties that lead to their experience of depression. In extreme cases of depression, talking therapies are not helpful as people are extremely unwell and unable to function.
      Generally whatever treatment is given needs to be tailored to the individual and their experiences, circumstances, and symptoms

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      I think it depends on the individual, the sorts of symptoms they are experiencing and how severe these experiences are. It could be that the individual benefits from medication to help them manage the worst of their symptoms and that psychological therapies are then useful. Medication and psychological therapies don’t always work for everyone – some people take a combination of various medications and it can take a while for medications to start working and for the individual to get a benefit from taking medication. Talking therapies also don’t always work for some people and it can depend on the approach taken in the therapy – some look more at thoughts and behaviours, others may focus on very specific experiences (e.g. managing very specific symptoms – like people’s experience of anxiety when living with bipolar disorder). I don’t think any one treatment works for everyone, all of the time… (based on my experience talking to people living with mental health diagnoses)

    • Photo: Nicola Johnstone

      Nicola Johnstone answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      In the UK disorders are treated with stepped care. It’s hard to give a clear answer to this because of individual experiences. For some, low level therapy might be enough, others might need more help. So effective is subjective.

    • Photo: Jasmin Moon

      Jasmin Moon answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      Schizophrenia and depression are quite different conditions so they do have slightly different treatments. However, medication can be used in both (anti-psychotics vs. anti-depressants) as well as talking therapies (CBT and counselling). It also depends on what works best for the person so there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question.

    • Photo: Oliver Clabburn

      Oliver Clabburn answered on 14 Jun 2019:

      Hi Jen, this isn’t really an area of my expertise, but I am aware of treatment for schizophrenia mainly involving medication and CBT. Depression can also be supported with medication, but also talking therapies. Interestingly, ‘social prescribing’ is becoming a more popular option too. This adopts a more holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing… definitely worth a little google!