How do antidepressants work?
restore the normal balance of brain chemicals. When these brain chemicals are
in proper balance, your depression gets better.
You may start to
feel better within 1 to 3 weeks of taking antidepressant medicine. But it can
take as many as 6 to 8 weeks to see more improvement. If you have questions or
concerns about your medicines, or if you do not notice any improvement by 3
weeks, talk to your doctor.
There are many medicines for
depression. If the first one you try doesn't work, a different one usually
will. You may need to try several different ones before you find the one that
works best for you.
If the side effects bother you, talk to your
doctor. There are many things you can do to reduce side effects.
At least half of those who have depression once will get it again (relapse).
Taking your medicine for at least 6 months after you feel better can help keep
you from getting depressed again. If this is not the first time you have been
depressed, your doctor may want you to take these medicines even longer.
How does therapy work?
Seeing a counselor works
well to help people with depression feel better. Therapy may also help stop
your depression from coming back after you have stopped taking your
The types of counseling most
often used for treatment of depression include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a type of counseling that teaches you how to become healthier
by changing some of your thought and behavior patterns. This type of therapy
can be provided individually or in a group setting.
- Interpersonal therapy, which focuses on social and
personal relationships and related problems.
- Problem-solving therapy, which focuses on the problems you are currently facing and on
helping you find solutions.
- Family therapy,
a type of counseling involving the entire family.
What are the benefits of stopping your antidepressants?
- There are no more side effects.
- If your medicine isn't covered by insurance, or if you have no
insurance, you will no longer have to deal with that expense.
won't have to worry about avoiding certain other medicines because of a
possible drug interaction.
What are the risks of stopping your antidepressants?
- Your depression may return. At least half of
people with depression have a relapse. But people who keep taking their
medicine are less likely to have a relapse.
- If you don't taper off
under your doctor's supervision, you could suffer withdrawal symptoms.
If you need more information, see the topic