In a fast-paced and busy world, it is essential to prioritize your mental health. However, it can be difficult to recognize the need for psychiatry-based treatment. Many people overlook or downplay their mental health concerns, as mental health issues are stigmatized, and they may fear that they will face ignorance if they ask for help.…
Depression Treatment with Medication
You might need depression treatment if you have lost interest in things you once enjoyed and often feel depressed. You may also have trouble sleeping or sleeping too much. You may have changes in your appetite or weight. You might feel exhausted all the time or have less energy than usual. Depression can also cause physical problems such as headaches and stomach aches.
See a psychiatrist if you believe you might be depressed. They can use depression screening to see if you have depression. If you do, they will likely prescribe medication to help improve your symptoms.
How depression treatment with medication works
There are many distinct types of depression drugs available. Some common ones include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These medications help increase serotonin levels, a chemical messenger in the brain that helps improve mood. Examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac®), paroxetine (Paxil®), and sertraline (Zoloft®).
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): These medications work similarly to SSRIs but also help increase norepinephrine levels in the brain, which helps improve mood and energy levels. Examples of SNRIs include desvenlafaxine (Pristiq®) and venlafaxine (Effexor®).
- Tricyclic antidepressants: These older depression medications can be effective but often have more side effects than newer drugs. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants include amitriptyline, imipramine (Tofranil®), and nortriptyline (Pamelor®).
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): These depression medications can cause serious side effects, so they’re usually only used when other drugs haven’t worked. An example of an MAOI is phenelzine (Nardil®).
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of medication and gradually increase it as needed to help relieve your symptoms. It can take several weeks for depression medication to work. Be sure to tell your doctor how you feel so they can make any necessary adjustments to your dosage.
In addition, to depression medication, your psychiatrist may also recommend therapy, self-care, and support groups as part of your depression treatment.
It is important to take depression medication exactly as prescribed. Missing doses can make depression worse.
Potential side effects of medication used for depression treatment
Depression medication can also cause side effects. Common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Sexual problems
Some side effects go away after a few weeks of taking depression medication. However, if side effects are bothersome, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medication that doesn't cause as many side effects.
Do not stop taking depression medication without talking to your doctor first. If you suddenly stop taking depression medication, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
If you and a psychiatrist decide it is time for you to stop taking depression medication, they will likely wean you off the drug slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
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Depression treatment is different for everyone
Depression treatment varies from person to person. What works for one person might not work for another. Working with a psychiatrist to find the depression treatment plan that is right for you is essential. Call or visit our New York clinic to schedule an appointment with our psychiatrist or learn more about our treatments.
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