Down But Not Out
With many battling depression more now than ever, getting the right care is vital. Depression brings long spells of sadness and hopelessness. This can affect one’s confidence, career, and relationships. Luckily, anti-depressants play a crucial role in helping those with the illness live a normal life. Depressed persons must take the medicine as prescribed to see the much-needed results.
How do antidepressants work?
The brain is a complex organ with millions of tasks taking place at once. One particular task is the creation and use of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help to balance mood. Anti-depressants work to restore a natural balance. There are 5 main classes of antidepressants, each affecting one or more of the neurotransmitters. Doctors may try patients on different antidepressants to find the right fit.
Stick to the plan
What makes treatment effective? The key is taking medication at the right time and the correct dose. Treatment for depression is a serious, delicate process. Doctors can prescribe medication for 12 months or longer. Depressed persons must stick to the instructions of the doctor at all times. A lack of adherence to medication causes thousands of hospitalizations and deaths yearly.
Feeling better? Don’t do this.
Things could look like they are turning around with medicine. Over 60% of patients on anti-depressants see an improvement in as little as 2 months. On the flip side, antidepressants have several side effects that can be unbearable. These two feelings can make patients inconsistent with prescriptions. Even worse, patients have quit altogether. Going cold turkey on anti-depressants can worsen depression. 20% of people taking this risk suffer from withdrawal syndrome. This condition can cause flu-like symptoms, sensory disorders, and even thoughts of suicide. The medication is often the reason for the improvement in depression. Depressed persons need to stay on course, even if symptoms improve.
Get help before quitting
To stop antidepressants, a doctor must create a customized plan to reduce the dosage over time. To be effective, the patient must follow the doctor’s instructions. Once the patient has tapered off the medicine, the doctor monitors the patient going forward. Medication adherence is just as critical when off antidepressants. Cope with depression using natural options. Do not restart medication without medical advice.
Antidepressants work if you do
Over 12% of Americans take antidepressants to help deal with this challenging condition. The time for medication varies, with some needing medication indefinitely. What’s important is to keep taking medication as prescribed, even if there’s a quick improvement. Research shows persons with depression are more likely to relapse. If the signs come up again, speak with a doctor immediately for a long-term solution.
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