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Why Do Some People Stop Taking Antidepressants? continued...

Problems can occur if you stop taking antidepressants abruptly. While not habit-forming, many depression medications can have withdrawal symptoms. Some patients confuse these symptoms with a return of the illness, says Papakostas. "It can even result in a relapse."

Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell your doctor that you haven't been taking your medication as you should. Your doctor just wants to understand why, says Papakostas, because then he or she can work with you to put a better treatment together. "Physicians know that a 5-minute phone call can really save patients and clinicians from a lot of work down the road if it comes to a full relapse and recurrence."

Depression Treatment: Staying Positive

Your attitudes and beliefs are also important when it comes to depression treatment. Papakostas explains that a person who believes that medication and therapy can work has a higher chance of healing than someone who doesn't have the same positive attitude. This is true in other medical fields as well.

Some people believe things that just aren't backed by the evidence, he says. That's another reason why it's important to share any doubts; you may have heard something about depression treatment that just isn't true. "Having beliefs that are very pessimist and unrealistic -- and not feeling comfortable discussing them with one's doctor -- may, in fact, get in the way of treatment," says Papakostas. Your doctor can explain the facts and help you understand how and why treatment can work for you.