The first step on the road to recovery starts with asking for help.
Once we do that; we are accepting the presence of this illness and empowering ourselves to overcome it. If we are diagnosed with depression, it is not the end of the world. As we learned earlier on, it is a chemical imbalance that needs fixing, similar to other illness brought on by hormonal or chemical imbalances in our bodies.
Yet, when the doctor prescribes medication, some of us are reluctant to comply with it, thinking we don’t need it. While in some cases, where depression is very mild, a few counselling sessions may help, in other cases, anti depressants are absolutely necessary for management.
There are different types of antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and others, which have been all shown to be effective. The key to antidepressants efficiency is to be patient about the results because it may take up to 6 weeks for the drug to work. The length of time, we should take antidepressants for, depends on how severe our illness is and is to be decided by our physician. Although antidepressants may have side effects, we should not stop our medication or even adjust the dose without consulting our doctor, to avoid relapse. Strategies for coping with some of the most common antidepressant side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, and anxiety, can be found here: http://depression.about.com/od/patientsrights/a/sideeffects.htm
It is important to avoid overestimating the role of antidepressants. They are not miracle pills! They are not meant to solve all our problems. They only keep us from feeling overwhelmed, so that we can solve our problems.
That is why the role of counselling and therapy is as important as taking the medication. Another name for therapy is psychological treatment, which helps people to change the negative pattern of thinking and improve their coping skills. Such objectives of therapy enable us to deal with life’s stresses and conflicts in a better and healthier manner. There are different types of behaviour therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), mindfully based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and behaviour therapy.
It is our right to ask as many questions as we want about our treatment options, but in the end, it would be wise to consider our care provider’s advice on whether antidepressants are essential or not in our case as well as which antidepressant or therapy would be most appropriate.
~ Faten B., Humans of Depression Representative
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