The core content of this website has been developed by Counselling Psychologist Dr Denise Meyer, with ideas and advice distilled from many years’ experience working in a university counselling service with many students affected by depression.
The website, including the second version, was further developed by Jeremy Christey between 2004 and 2016 when he was Chair of the University and Colleges Division of the British Association of Counselling.
The third version, including the re-launched design and re-structure of core content, was developed by Dr Andrew Reeves, BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and current Project Director for the studentsagainstdepression.org website. He has 30 years’ experience of working in mental health settings as a social worker and therapist, including in a university counselling service.
The core content was written, developed and edited informed by key UK and international research into depression and anxiety and their treatments. As such, the content throughout this site is evidence-based and evidence-informed.
Treatment suggestions throughout the site are based on the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline 23 Depression: management of depression in primary and secondary care, published in 2004
Many of the ideas summarised in ‘How depression works’ and ‘Tackling depression’ are treated in more depth in Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression: a self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques (Robinson, 2000).
References and Recommended Reading
How depression works
Is depression affecting me?
NICE depression guidelines 2004 Clinical definitions of depression
Nemeroff, C B (1998) The neurobiology of depression Scientific American 278, 6, 28-35 cited in Griffin, J & Tyrrell, I (2000) Breaking the cycle of depression: a revolution in psychology HG Publishing for The European Therapy Studies Institute.
‘Learned helplessness’ research by Martin Seligman discussed in Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression. See also Peterson, Maier & Seligman Learned helplessness: a theory for the age of personal control (OUP, 1996). Social comparison theory set out in Oliver James’ Britain on the Couch (Arrow, 1998).
‘Self-bullying’ is a term used by Paul Gilbert in Overcoming Depression.
A depression-inducing society?
See Oliver James Britain on the Couch (Arrow, 1998). See also Joe Griffin & Ivan Tyrrell Breaking the cycle of depression: a revolution in psychology (HG Publishing for The European Therapy Studies Institute, 2000) and Robert E. Lane The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies (Yale University Press, 2001).
Depression and the meaning of life
Viktor E. Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning (Rider & Co, 2004; first published in 1959).
Depression in student life
Association for University & College Counselling (AUCC) Annual Survey 2002/3 published by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. Similar data in previous years.
Finding what works for you
The question “What is the smallest change that can make the biggest difference?” is a tool suggested by Christine Padesky in her training on cognitive therapy for depression.
Sorting out sleep patterns
Joe Griffin & Ivan Tyrrell Breaking the cycle of depression: a revolution in psychology (HG Publishing for The European Therapy Studies Institute, 2000) puts forward the case for a central role for sleep and dreaming in depression.
Understanding food and mood
General reference for this page is Amanda Geary’s The Food and Mood Handbook (Thorsons, 2001). Also Joseph R. Hibbeln Fish consumption and major depression. The Lancet, vol 351, 18 April 1998.
Checking alcohol and drugs
Annie Grant Alcohol and student success. AUCC Journal, special issue winter 2004. D Shaffer The epidemiology of teen suicide: an examination of risk factors. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 49 identifies alcohol and substance misuse as significant factors in youth suicide, with disinhibiting effects potentially precipitating a suicidal act.
Challenging depressed thinking
See further strategies in Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression. “Going to the mood gym” refers to a link to the MoodGYM website of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University www.moodgym.anu.edu.au.
Building support networks
Harris, T., Brown, G. W. & Robinson, R. (1999) Befriending as an intervention for chronic depression among women in an inner city. 1: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 174, 219-224 and other research cited in NICE depression guideline 2004.
Medication pros and cons
Discussed in Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression. See also NICE depression guidelines 2004, and further info at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency website, www.mhra.gov.uk