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Should I Take Medication To Treat Depression?

Medication for Depression
Is Medication for Depression right for me? Should you be seeking out a prescription for mental health woes?
Medication for Depression
Is Medication to treat Depression right for me? Should you be seeking out a prescription for mental health woes?

Is Medication for Depression right for me? Coping with mental health challenges can include going to therapy, lifestyle changes and seeking out a prescription. 

Presented by BetterHelp.

While life can be incredibly rewarding, it’s no secret that it can also be full of challenges. Many of these hurdles can be overcome with time, a positive mindset, and perseverance, but when you’re living with depression, even the smallest of setbacks can feel nearly impossible to move forward from. 

Perhaps you’ve been trying to cope with depression all on your own but are now considering finding extra support. Or maybe you’ve been going to therapy and making changes in your life to no avail and are wondering where to turn next. At some point during this time, you may have thought about taking medication to help treat your symptoms. 

Starting medication for depression can seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never tried it before. However, many people find that it’s just what they need to heal. Keep reading to learn more about whether taking medication for depression could be the right option for you. 

What Is Depression?

Depression is a common, serious mental health disorder that causes a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and a persistent sad mood. It can negatively affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for weeks, months, and even years. 

Depression can keep you from the life you once knew, impacting your interpersonal relationships, performance at work, academic achievements, ability to care for yourself, and much more. Finding treatment for depression can be critical, as its symptoms can worsen when left unattended.  

Treatment Options For Depression

Depression is often treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Everyone is affected by depression to varying degrees and copes with it differently, meaning that your treatment plan will be uniquely designed to fit your needs. 

There are many different types of psychological therapy that your therapist may use to help you, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Additionally, the type of medication you’re prescribed can depend on numerous factors, including your medical history, symptom severity, insurance coverage, and so on.

Is Medication Right For You?

Medication for Depression
Is Medication for Depression right for me? Seeking out a prescription what you should know.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to take medication to treat your depression, it’s important to talk with a qualified professional, such as your doctor or a therapist. While your doctor can prescribe medication, you’ll need to see a psychiatrist to get medication if your therapist recommends it. 

Upon meeting with a professional, they’ll go over your symptoms, asking questions like how long they’ve been occurring and how they’ve affected your daily functioning. If your depression is mild, therapy and certain lifestyle changes may be recommended before adding medication. However, if you’re experiencing moderate to severe depression that’s impacting your ability to function normally, medication may be suggested. 

There are some considerations you may want to keep in mind before beginning a course of medication. First, note that you may experience side effects from the medication. If you have any medical conditions or other concerns, it’s essential to let your doctor or psychiatrist know about them to ensure that the medications they prescribe won’t make your condition worse. Keep in mind that the potential benefits of medication often outweigh the potential negative side effects—though every case varies.

Additionally, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, know that taking medication for depression could pose risks to your baby, such as birth defects. That said, depression can also cause issues during your pregnancy, so it’s vital to speak with your doctor about the best course of action to keep you and the baby safe. 

Next, know that medication isn’t a quick fix for depression. It takes time for the medicine to get into your body, and it may be weeks before you feel any effects. If you’re looking for something that will instantly offer relief, medication isn’t it. 

Finally, consider what other steps you’ll take to safeguard your mental well-being alongside taking medication. Depression is typically treated most effectively when multiple methods are used, such as medication, lifestyle changes, and therapy. So, ask yourself whether you’re willing to make other changes in your life and pursue additional resources like therapy to improve your chances of recovery. 

Reaching Out For Help

Whether you’re interested in taking medication for your depression or not, reaching out for support can be a crucial first step to take. Although asking for help can be scary, know that it’s a sign of courage, not weakness. Involving other people in your mental health journey can help ensure that you stay safe and get the help you need.

While medication may seem like an easy fix to a complex problem, the reality is that treating depression often requires significant time as well as trial and error. Everyone has unique needs when it comes to their mental health, making it important to stay open-minded and willing to try new methods until you find a route that works for you. Along this journey, it’s vital to remember that you aren’t alone and support is always available.