when depression hits and doesn’t go away, sometimes it makes sense to take antidepressants.
medline has a helpful little article about antidepressants, giving a very quick overview over how they work, what types of antidepressants are available, how to stop taking them, etc.
i found this information to be the most useful:
be patient when working with your doctor. it often takes several tries to find the right antidepressant. a doctor will select the most appropriate antidepressant based on your symptoms, the antidepressant’s potential side effects, your medical conditions and any medications you’re taking. because of the many antidepressants on the market today, doctors have many options to choose from. so don’t worry if the first antidepressant is not working well for you.
antidepressants are not a quick fix and take time to work. they often take several weeks (or more) before positive results are noticed. because everyone’s brain chemistry is different, antidepressants will affect individuals differently.
each antidepressant will have its own particular side effects. many side effects are temporary and will go away once your body adjusts to the medication. ask your doctor about the typical side effects, how long they may last and when you should contact your doctor.
the only problem with this information is that it depicts an ideal situation. the not-so-ideal reality is sometimes that experimenting with different drugs until you get the right one requires exactly the type of motivation and determination you don’t have when you’re so depressed that you need antidepressants. which is one of the reasons why it is so crucial that you have a doctor or nurse-practitioner with whom you have a close and positive working relationship that will make such a problem much easier to deal with.
antidepressants, by the way, are also used for anxiety, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and chronic pain.
antidepressants (and other psychoactive drugs) are obviously not like tylenol or pepto bismol; they are very powerful. often, this can be felt on all levels: mentally, emotionally, physically, even spiritually. that’s why it might be a good idea to first try other avenues, such as therapy, yoga, and meditation. the side effects of these are often pleasant instead of unpleasant! even when taking medication, it has been shown that it works better in connection with therapy.
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