When Medication Can Help Your Depression
Has the fun gone out of your life? Do you feel like you are depressed all the time? Did you just break up with someone, lose a job you loved or had to move away from your home town? Or is it something deeper than that? Have you constantly got the blues, but can’t put your finger on what is getting you down? Maybe it’s time to try some depression medication.
Sometimes, talk therapy alone can be the best method for treating depression when it begins to slip out of your grasp, but during those therapy sessions, some issues will rise to the surface that a trained therapist can tell you won’t be able to handle alone. This is when it might be best to include an anti-depressant medication as part of your treatment.
Is Depression Interfering with Your Life?
If your depression is affecting your ability to properly function in an important part of your life, such as at work or in school, medication may be the right choice for you. Often, you should resort to taking medication only after you have tried other less invasive strategies, such as exercise, healthy eating and or therapy. These methods can sometimes help you rebound to your former, happy self. But sometimes beating the blues just isn’t that easy.
When you take an anti-depressant or other drug for depression, it often helps lift your spirit enough to want to develop the types of therapy and life changes that will be able to help you get to the underlying issues of your depression and create the tools you need to beat it for good. You won’t necessarily need to be on medication forever to feel good about yourself again.
Anti-Depressant Side Effects
Medication may be necessary to treat depression when its cause is more than just environmental stimuli. Depression can be caused by a defect within the brain that causes a diminished production of certain chemicals call neurotransmitters, which scientists attribute to mood control. This is akin to a diabetic, where the body can no longer produce insulin. It is a chemical deficiency that often needs medication for it to be corrected.
Common side effects listed by the FDA for antidepressants are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight gain
- Sexual problems
There are several types of antidepressants, but selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, tend to be the most widely used. Anti-depressants usually take about three weeks to take effect. During that time, a patient may experience some uncomfortable side effects, but it is important to let the medication take effect and have a chance to lift your mood before you decide it is not for you.
Also, once you do start taking anti-depressants, do not stop taking them without the supervision of your doctor. Sometimes when people taking anti-depressants, they begin to feel better and want to stop taking the medication. If they do this on their own, the depression usually returns.
Your doctor will probably want to you take the medication for between 6-12 months before making a decision about whether or not it might be time to wean you off the medicine. Your doctor will help you safely decrease your dose at a rate that will not cause painful withdrawal symptoms that could accompany stopping cold turkey.
To find the latest information about anti-depressants, talk to your doctor and visit, www.fda.gov.