Depression is a common problem. For many people, personal and professional issues, along with everything going on in the world, can really combine to start causing them problems. They may feel sad and alone, or a little lost. They might even feel angry, and start engaging in destructive behaviors. No matter how they’re specifically affected by depression, it can take a toll on their lives. If you’re experiencing issues with depression, you should know that there are options to help you feel better. Medication is one option.
Choosing the Right Medication
There are plenty of options when it comes to depression medication. These include several types of antidepressants, which don’t all work the same way. Your doctor will work with you to find the best medication for your specific needs, because some medications for depression target different chemicals or work in different ways than others. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Instead, they may need to try something different to get the same kind of value from their experience.
Understanding Trial and Error
One of the biggest things people need to understand about getting depression medication is that there’s trial and error involved. A doctor will recommend the medication they think has the best chance of working effectively for that patient. But it’s also possible that the medication won’t be the right fit, and something else would be a better choice. Weaning off of the first medication and trying a new one will then be necessary. Sometimes, a person has to try several medications before finding what works.
Depression medication generally takes around six weeks to provide its maximum level of effectiveness. It may start helping with symptom improvement before that, of course, but won’t be as strong of an improvement early on. If the medication isn’t working well after six to eight weeks, or if there are significant side effects, it may be necessary to slowly taper down the amount of medication being taken, stop taking it, and then start on a different one until the right medication is located.
Working With Healthcare Professionals
Working with a professional is the right way to use depression medication. This kind of medication can’t be bought over the counter, and needs to be prescribed. Additionally, you need to make sure you’re letting your doctor know about any other issues you’re having or other medications you’re taking. That way, you won’t risk having your medication interact with something else, and cause side effects. Having a trusted medical professional you can ask questions of also matters, in case you have concerns.
Giving Medication the Time it Needs
Six to eight weeks is the recommended time to try an antidepressant, to see if it works well for you. While it might start improving the way you feel before then, it won’t reach maximum effectiveness for about six weeks. Some people even feel a little worse when they start taking an antidepressant, because their body has to adjust to it. Unless you have severe or dangerous side effects, which are very rare, it’s important to give your depression medication the time it needs, to see if it will work correctly for your needs.
If you find that the medication is causing problems, or making you feel worse, remember that the adjustment period is temporary. However, you also want to ask your doctor about any concerns you have with your depression medication. Significant side effects are rare, but some people are much more sensitive to medication than others. With that in mind, you don’t want to ignore something that could be serious. You should reach out with questions, but expect to start feeling better in a few weeks.
Staying With a Treatment Regimen
Another important thing to remember about depression medication is that your body gets used to it over time. That means you don’t want to just stop taking it when you feel better. That can lead to feeling worse, and can cause other side effects if you stop taking it suddenly. Always work with your doctor if you feel you want to get off of your medication. In a lot of cases, staying with a treatment regimen is something you’ll need to do for months or years. Make sure you’re following your healthcare practitioner’s guidance.
You don’t have to just live with depression. You can get the help you need through working with a medical professional and finding the right depression medication for your needs. Even though it can take some trial and error, it’s possible to find the right medication that makes you feel more like yourself again. That can help you get back to living your life, and make your hobbies and daily activities more enjoyable again. It’s well worth asking for treatment.