When negative feelings and thoughts linger and begin to take a toll on your job, health, or relationships, it may be a sign to seek help.
More than 260 million people around the world suffer from depression or depressive symptoms. However, for years there’s been a stigma around taking antidepressants, along with continuous questions as to whether this could be the answer to all who struggle.
Fact is, there is more of a reluctance to go on antidepressants despite the fact that when you go to the doctor with a physical condition, you will most likely take all the prescribed medicine … without question. That being said, mental health is a complex subject and the decision to take antidepressants is a very personal one. This is not like a strep test you can take – there is no positive or negative result with mental health because there are an infinite number of variables that can contribute to depression.
However, feeling able an enthusiastic about participating in life is vital. And yes, there are many lifestyle changes that could be helpful in managing depressive symptoms. Things such as exercise, hobbies, and a balanced diet are known to be beneficial in dealing with mental illness. The catch however is that some types of depression do not respond to non-medical therapies. Some people have low concentrations of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. That means that it will be unlikely that they will notice the benefits of other therapies or lifestyle changes without medical intervention.
Also, a depressed person often can’t get motivated to initiate any lifestyle or other adjustments without medication. And yes, antidepressants can provide a running start to the implementation of healthy living.
So, the pros? Antidepressants are well studied, safe, and effective when used correctly. They have been shown to work, again and again, in randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical tests.
An antidepressant could help you to succeed in other parts of your treatment plan. It can help restore your energy and in addition to mood benefits, could improve concentration and overall quality of life.
Although there are many great resources on the internet for independent research, your decision to use an antidepressant will involve a collaborative effort with your health care provider. Ask him/her to refer you to a psychiatrist, especially if your depression is severe or if you have other medical or mental health conditions.
As with any medication, there can be cons to taking antidepressants. You might have to try more than one before finding the one that’s right for you. Also, be prepared for a delayed onset, most people will only experience some benefits after a few weeks. Side-effects could include fatigue, nausea or headaches. Antidepressants could also affect your sex drive, your weight, as well as your sleeping pattern.
Always speak to your doctor before you decide to quit your antidepressant. Quitting cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms or make your depression worse.
Depression is treatable. Yes, antidepressants may be controversial, but they help countless people.
Don’t be afraid to take control of your wellbeing.
Source: thehealthy.com, psyche.co, sochealth.co.uk, cosmopolitan.com, verywellmind.com, allure.com, healthline.com, webmd.com, harpersbazaar.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.