Taking antidepressants is an important step for many people who suffer from depression. There is a lot of stigma against people with depression, and even more so against those who seek medical intervention in the form of medicines. Because of the stigma, those who really need medication to help their depression are often not informed about what antidepressants actually do.
7 things you should know if antidepressants do not work for you
Sometimes people who use them discover that they are not functioning the way they thought they should. When the medication does not work, many people with depression are left wondering what their next step will be. If you have tried to take antidepressants to help with your symptoms of depression because as a last resort it is what you already need and you have discovered that they are not working, this is what you need to know.
1. Medication does not always work
Dr. Jennifer Payne says: “We have a vague understanding of how antidepressants work, but that does not mean we fully understand pharmacology. I do not think anyone can offer a complete biological explanation of why antidepressants stop working. But I will say this: there are factors that can influence someone to relapse. ”
According to the research, at least one third of people seeking medication do not find relief from their depression symptoms. This can be hard to hear, but sometimes the medications just do not work when it comes to finding relief from depression. But once you know it, you will be better equipped to find relief in other ways. Fortunately, medication is not the end of all treatments for depression.
2. Science is still learning
The fact that the medication does not work for you now does not mean it will never work for you. Science is still learning and presenting new theories every day, with research on antidepressants and why the currently available medication does not seem to be working for those who take it. There is new research every day focused on the best ways to find therapeutic relief for those who suffer from depression.
3. It may not be depression, but something completely different
Psychology and mental health are fields that are highly subjective in many aspects. This means that although you may be experiencing all the symptoms of depression, that does not mean that is what you have. Other disorders can occur, and often do, as symptoms of depression, such as bipolar disorder and personality disorders. Depression can often be a symptom of something else, which may be why people do not respond to antidepressants.
4. The brain can adapt and learn to tolerate
According to this study, “antidepressant tachyphylaxis describes a condition in which a depressed patient loses a response to previously effective antidepressant treatment despite remaining on the same drug and the dose for maintenance treatment.”
But what does this mean in simple terms?
What most antidepressants do is increase serotonin levels, which help fight most symptoms of depression and help find relief. Sometimes, our brains adapt to the medication in ways that make it less effective. If you have been taking medications that seemed to help for a while, but no longer work, your brain may have adapted to the medication. Some things may help, such as a higher dose of the medication or a change to another type of antidepressant.
5. Therapy helps reduce depression if medications do not help
Many people give up therapy because they feel it does not help, but psychotherapy is a tried and true method that can help depressive symptoms. However, the question of therapy is that it requires time, effort and dedication on the part of the patient and the therapist. It can take years to achieve all the benefits of psychotherapy, but there are no possible side effects of the therapy in the same way as with medication. Before continuing with medical intervention, it is important to seek therapy as the first line to combat depression.
6. Make sure you get enough sleep
According to Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein, “people who have trouble sleeping have a greater risk of developing emotional disorders, depression and anxiety.” Therefore, when you start taking antidepressants, you should make sure you are receiving the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of sleep can cause instability in mood and can also affect the effectiveness of antidepressants. If you discover that your antidepressants do not work as they should, make sure you get enough sleep. Studies find that patients who are receiving the correct amount of sleep have increased responses to antidepressant therapy.
7. Know your options
Antidepressants come in a wide range of different options that many people do not know what might work best for them. They can try a type of antidepressant and find out that it does not work, so they give up completely. If you notice that you are not responding well to a type of antidepressant, be sure to ask your doctor what other options are available. Antidepressants come in two main types, and you can respond better to one or the other. You may also need to add non-antidepressants that can help make those medications work better, such as thyroid hormone or fish oil.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects many people. The stigma surrounding medication can make it harder to know how to manage your depressive symptoms, and when the medication does not work, you may wonder where to go.
Fortunately, there is a lot of medicine for depression that your doctor can help you understand. As long as you are honest and thorough about how your depression is responding to medication, your doctor can help you find the right treatment for you, and who knows, the right treatment may not be any medication at all! Always exhaust until the last resource to know if it really is what you need, when it is already an imbalance that can not be controlled in another way, resort to the most natural resources to solve that problem.