If those don't give you enough relief, there are more options. For instance, your doctor may suggest brain stimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy (also called ECT or electroshock therapy), transcranial magnetic stimulation, or vagus nerve stimulation.
Antidepressants, especially when combined with talk therapy, generally help people recover from depression. Symptoms begin to improve within weeks for the majority of people taking antidepressants. And people who take antidepressants long-term -- up to 36 months -- have a relapse rate of only 18% compared to 40% for those who do not.
But if they work so well, why do so many people stop taking antidepressants within a few weeks of starting them? Or skip doses when they start to feel better?
If you have bipolardepression, your doctor may prescribe different types of medicines, such as mood-stabilizing drugs or certain antipsychotic medicines, instead of antidepressants.
Everyone is different. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment plan that works best for you. It also takes time for an antidepressant to have its full effect. You may meet with several doctors or therapists before you find the one you want to work with.
Be patient and tell your doctor how you’re doing. Your openness will help him find solutions, so you feel better ASAP.
What Are Depression Drugs?
These medicines, called “antidepressants,” lift your mood and ease the sadness and hopelessness you feel. You’ll work with your doctor to find the one that works best for you with the fewest side effects.
It’s all about the brain circuitry that’s involved in managing your mood.
Three key chemicals are norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Research shows that in depression, brain circuits that use these chemicals don't work properly. Antidepressants can help these brain circuits work better by tweaking the chemicals that run through them. That can help improve mood, although the exact way they work is still not fully understood.
What Are the Types of Antidepressants?
The major types are:
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. They can make brain circuits that use serotonin work better. Examples include: