How Long Will I Need To Take Antidepressants For
This will depend on a number of factors and is best discussed with your doctor. It is common to be on antidepressants for at least 6 to 12 months for a first episode of moderate to severe depression needing medication.
- If you have troublesome side effects or little improvement in your symptoms after 6 weeks, talk to your doctor about changing the dose, trying a different antidepressant , or adding a second antidepressant or another medication . A medication combination may work better for you than a single antidepressant.
- If this is not your first experience of depression, your doctor may prescribe longer treatment. You may be able to stop these medicines after a while. They are not addictive.
- If you plan to stop taking antidepressants, talk with your doctor first about how to do it safely. It’s best to slowly decrease your dose. Suddenly stopping can cause side effects. It may also cause your depression to come back or get worse.
What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel
Theres no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body can have a real and significant impact on the way you feel.
Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.
Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.
If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.
What Are The Considerations When Choosing An Antidepressant
The exact antidepressant medication you are prescribed will depend on the severity and type of your illness, if you have other medical conditions, if you are taking other medication, your response to antidepressant medication in the past and possible side effects.
When deciding on the best medication for you, it’s important to discuss with your healthcare provider the possible side effects of the medication and how they are likely to impact on your lifestyle. The following resources provide more information about what to think about when choosing antidepressant medication and may be useful for discussions with your healthcare provider. Be aware these are from other countries and may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations.
- Depression: treatment options Option Grid
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How To Manage Treatment
If you think that you might have treatment-resistant depression, its important to reach out to a mental health provider for assistance.
In order to learn more about your depression, your mental health provider may ask about your symptoms and mental health history, the medications you currently use or have recently used for depression and your general life situation.
They may also ask you about any physical or mental health conditions you have that could play a role in your depression.
Depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, your treatment history and other factors, your mental health provider may recommend one or several of the treatment approaches listed below.
Other Treatments For Depression
Other treatments for depression include talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy .
People with moderate to severe depression are usually treated using a combination of antidepressants and CBT. Antidepressants work quickly in reducing symptoms, whereas CBT takes time to deal with causes of depression and ways of overcoming it.
Regular exercise has also been shown to be useful for those with mild depression.
Read more about alternatives to antidepressants.
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What Is The Best Medication For Depression
There are many treatments for depression, but there is no “best” medication. What works for one person might not work for another since everyone reacts differently to medicines. Your doctor will take your medical condition, medical history, and other medications you are taking into consideration when suggesting a treatment for you. Be sure to speak with your doctor about potential side effects and drug interactions with other medications you might be taking. Note that all antidepressants carry a Boxed Warning, often called a black box warning which is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks. The specific Boxed Warning is about suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults with major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders.
|10 mg/day up to max of 60 mg/day||Dizziness, headache, constipation, dry mouth, nausea|
Which Antidepressant Will Work For Me
Once medication is deemed necessary to treat your depression, your provider will select the best medication for you and will start with a dose that is considered standard for your symptoms. The treatment of depression with medication is very personalized, and it might take more than one trial with more than one medication before we find the right one for you. Alonzo said. Finding the best antidepressant medication treatment plan for you may take some time, but these medications are very effective, and combined with therapy, before long we will be discussing your recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with untreated depression, then do not hesitate to reach out for help. Please contact 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Mental Health America 24 hour crisis line, or text 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.
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Psychotherapy For Depression Treatment
If there is no underlying medical cause for your symptoms of depression, talk therapy can be an extremely effective treatment. What you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to feel better and help prevent depression from coming back.
There are many types of therapy available. Three of the more common methods used in depression treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Often, a blended approach is used.
Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.
Does Lamotrigine Interact With Any Medications Or Other Substances
Certain other drugs can affect the way lamotrigine works in your body by decreasing its effectiveness or delaying its excretion from your body. These include hormonal birth control methods, estrogen-containing contraceptives, hormone treatments, the antibiotic rifampin, seizure medications such as phenobarbital, and valproic acid, which is also used to treat bipolar disorder.
Your doctor will carefully prescribe and monitor your dosage when lamotrigine is taken with other treatments. Avoid alcohol, cannabis, and other substances that can increase dizziness or drowsiness while taking lamotrigine. To rule out dangerous side effects, discuss all other medications or mind-altering substances you consume with your doctor before taking lamotrigine.
One recent British study found that folic acid supplements can cancel out lamotrigines benefits . No one expected that result, as folic acid usually helps depression, and other medications, like valproate , says Dr. Aiken. More research is needed before we can fully trust this result, but until then, we recommend taking lamotrigine without any folic acid supplements, including those found in multivitamins. Once youre doing well on lamotrigine, if you decided to add folic acid, watch out for a potential loss of benefits.
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Ketaminefrom Anesthetic To Depression Miracle Drug
Interestingly, studies from Yale research labs showed that the drug ketamine, which was widely used as anesthesia during surgeries, triggers glutamate production, which, in a complex, cascading series of events, prompts the brain to form new neural connections. This makes the brain more adaptable and able to create new pathways, and gives patients the opportunity to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors. This was an effect that had not been seen before, even with traditional antidepressants.
I think the interesting and exciting part of this discovery is that it came largely out of basic neuroscience research, instead of by chance, says Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist at Yale Medicine who was also involved in many of the ketamine studies. It wasnt just, lets try this drug and see what happens. There was increasing evidence suggesting that there was some abnormality within the glutamatergic system in the brains of people suffering from depression, and this prompted the idea of using a drug that targets this system.
This is why Dr. Sanacora believes that ketamine may be most effective when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy . CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps patients learn more productive attitudes and behaviors. Ongoing research, including clinical trials, addressing this idea are currently underway here at Yale.
Ketamine And Esketamine For Depression
Ketamines and esketamines are not used as a first-line treatment for depression. They are often only prescribed when the patient has treatment-resistant depression, or depression that has not responded to other medications and therapies. Ketamine and esketamine are very similar in composition, but esketamine is remarkably more potent than ketamine. Ketamine is approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, but it is being used for treatment-resistant depression off-label, meaning it does not currently have FDA approval for this use.
Ketamines and esketamines can be used for very severe or life-threatening cases of depression that include suicidal ideation that can help the person long enough to give other antidepressants adequate time become effective.
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Antidepressants: What Is The Best Medication For Depression
With 322 million people in the world suffering from depression, it comes as no surprise that those diagnosed with depression experiences different signs and symptoms of the condition. The symptoms of major depressive disorder, or clinical depression, may affect how you feel, think and handle everyday activities.
With a combination of therapy and antidepressants, most people with depression can find a treatment plan that works for them, said Joy Alonzo, PharmD, MEng, specialist in the pharmacotherapy of mental disorders and a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Texas A& M College of Pharmacy. However, everyone will respond differently to each antidepressant, so you need to work closely with your health care providers to find what works best for you.
How Well Can Antidepressants Prevent Relapses
Antidepressants are usually taken for one to two years, and sometimes longer, to prevent relapses. Relapse prevention may be a good idea for people who
- have already had several relapses,
- absolutely want to avoid a relapse, or
- have chronic .
Studies involving adults have shown that taking commonly used antidepressants such as TCAs, SSRIs or SNRIs can lower the risk of relapses, but can’t completely prevent them:
- Without preventive treatment: About 50 out of 100 people who took a placebo had a relapse within one to two years.
- With preventive treatment: About 23 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant had a relapse within one to two years.
In other words, taking an antidepressant over a long period of time successfully prevented a relapse in an average of 27 out of 100 people.
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Who Can Take Lamotrigine For Bipolar Disorder
Doctors may prescribe lamotrigine to adults or adolescents who are otherwise being treated for bipolar disorder or weaning off other medications used to treat bipolar disorder. Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of lamotrigine and prescribed lower doses. When people respond to lamotrigine, they often say they can see things in perspective better and are less reactive under stress. They usually still have days of depression, but these tend to be shorter and less frequent, says Dr. Aiken.
Children under age 18 are at higher risk of developing a skin rash from lamotrigine if dosed too rapidly. In spite of the potential side effects, however, Dr. Goldberg points out that many studies support the use of lamotrigine for treating bipolar disorder in youth.
Definitive information about the safety of lamotrigine in pregnancy is not available, as there are no adequate studies in a pregnant woman population, but according to Dr. Goldberg, many doctors perceive it to be among the safer options when treatment benefit outweighs risk to the fetus, especially in women who are more prone to depression than mania. Like many psychotropic drugs, lamotrigine is secreted into breast milk, so women are advised to discuss with their doctors the risk and benefits of breastfeeding while taking lamotrigine.
Lamotrigine is not recommended in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the medication or any of its ingredients.
Best Vitamins For Depression
B vitamins play an important role in helping the brain produce adequate levels of the chemicals required to manage mood and other functions, according to the Mayo Clinic. If someone has low levels of B-vitamins and in particular B-12, they may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression. B-vitamin deficiencies are often seen in people who have depression.
Even without a specific disorder, it can become increasingly difficult for a persons body to absorb enough vitamin B-12 as they age. Depression can often include symptoms of fatigue, and B-vitamins can help combat that. B-12, in particular, is known for being important to reduce fatigue.
Some of the foods that contain high levels of B-12 include fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry and milk. Certain breakfast cereals may be fortified with B-12 as well. B-12 supplementation can help if someone is a vegan or vegetarian or may not be getting enough of the vitamin for any reason.
Other B vitamins for depression, or vitamins that play a role in brain health include:
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Getting Help For Depression & Co
Living with a family member or spouse who is in a depressive episode can be both painful and stressful. Its natural for loved ones to feel helpless, frustrated, and even emotionally drained by their experiences dealing with depression. Approaching a relative or friend about depression and substance abuse is very hard, but it can also prevent serious harm to the individual.
Without help, its likely that the addictive disorder and the depressionboth chronic illnesseswill continue to get worse until the individual becomes severely ill. Its even possible that an intervention by loved ones may help to prevent a suicide attempt and save the individuals life.
People struggling with depression often feel isolated, profoundly lonely, and powerless. Offering support and practical solutions could make an enormous difference in the way a depressed person feels about the future.
Mental health professionals can be valuable partners in the process of intervening on behalf of someone who has depression. With the guidance of a therapist, families can learn about the facts behind depression and develop a better understanding of how to relate to someone who has this disorder.
If substance abuse is a factor, a therapist or intervention specialist can provide guidelines on how to effectively get help for someone with depression.
Individual Or Group Therapy
When you hear the word therapy you might automatically think of one-on-one sessions with a therapist. However, group therapy can be very useful in depression treatment as well. Both group and individual therapy sessions usually last about an hour. What are the benefits of each? In individual therapy, you are building a strong relationship with one person, and may feel more comfortable sharing some sensitive information with one person than with a group. You also get individualized attention.
In group therapy, listening to peers going through the same struggles can validate your experiences and help build self-esteem. Often group members are at different points in their depression, so you might get tips from both someone in the trenches and someone who has worked through a challenging problem. As well as offering inspiration and ideas, attending group therapy can also help increase your social activities and network.
When the going gets tough in therapy
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Try Specialized Procedures For Depression
If antidepressants and conventional forms of therapy arent effective at treating your depression, your mental health provider may recommend a specific type of procedure to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
These procedures are often referred to as brain stimulation therapy.
They typically involve using therapeutic equipment to stimulate the regions of your brain that are involved in regulating your thoughts, moods and feelings.
Medical procedures for depression include:
Electroconvulsive therapy . This form of treatment involves passing a controlled electrical current through your brain. Its used to treat severe depression, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. ECT takes place under general anesthesia, meaning youll be asleep as the procedure is performed. This type of treatment may need to be repeated for several weeks to produce lasting improvements.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation . This type of treatment activates your brain using a magnetic field. Its performed without anesthesia, with most sessions lasting for 30 to 60 minutes.
Vagus nerve stimulation . This form of treatment involves a device implanted into your body that stimulates your vagus nerve using electricity. This stimulation may affect your bodys production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.
Your mental health provider may recommend these procedures on their own or in combination with therapy and/or medication.
Depression: How Effective Are Antidepressants
Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating . They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back.
Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of . Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential. But, like with many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations and not in others. They are effective in moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not in mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.
The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of severe , such as feeling very down and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. They are meant to make you feel emotionally stable again and help you to follow a normal daily routine. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems, and to prevent suicidal thoughts.
This information is about using medication to treat the most common form of , known as unipolar depression. The treatment options for manic depression aren’t discussed here.
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