Does My Depression Require Medication?

Dec 15, 2022
Does My Depression Require Medication?
When you’re in the throes of depression, you may feel like there is no reliable way out. Minimizing your depression can take several attempts, and medications might be an important part of your care.

Although it makes you feel alone, hopeless, and often isolated, depression is far from uncommon. As the most prevalent mental health disorder, it affects over 17 million adults in the United States alone during a given year.  

More than just a bout of the blues, depression has distinctive symptoms such as a loss of interest in the activities you normally enjoy, appetite changes, and sleep disturbances. If you notice that you don’t feel like yourself, a mental health evaluation from psychiatrist Zev Wiener, MD, can offer clarity on what you’re experiencing and possible treatments, including depression. MindMD in Beverly Hills, California, has you covered for the mental health care you need. 

You may wonder if medications will be beneficial or even necessary for managing your depression. While they’re not required, you can experience great improvements in your mood from both antidepressants and other forms of care. 

Where medications can help

Antidepressant medications are almost always a treatment for severe depression. If you struggle to get out of bed and cannot function, the right medication can get you to a point where you feel you can leave the house and fulfill your responsibilities. 

However, not everyone with depression will experience severe symptoms that keep them from participating in everyday life. Even if you have moderate depression, you might still benefit from taking antidepressants as part of your treatment plan. Options like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) can help regulate your mood and restore some of your energy so you can better engage in other helpful treatments. 

Antidepressants work best for those with severe and moderate cases of depression. You may not benefit from medications as much if you have mild and functional depression that doesn’t have a large impact on your day-to-day routine. 

When antidepressants are most effective

If you’ve been prescribed antidepressants or are considering them as a part of your treatment, taking certain steps can help you get the most out of them. 

First, take your medications consistently. This is crucial. Be sure to take them at their prescribed dosage, around the same time every day. You might even set a reminder on your phone or mark it on your daily agenda, especially if you’re particularly busy or have trouble remembering parts of your routine. 

Try to follow the other parts of your treatment plan closely, too. Dr. Wiener frequently recommends getting more exercise and sticking to a sleep schedule. While following these steps might seem difficult or even impossible at first due to your depressive symptoms, taking your antidepressants consistently may increase your drive to make the necessary changes. 

Counseling or psychotherapy is almost always a necessary part of depression treatment as well. You’ll get the best possible results from your medications if you develop coping skills through counseling. 

Weighing your options

Many factors can affect whether an antidepressant will work for you. The first one you try might not be the one you continue taking. As you work with psychiatrist Dr. Wiener to find a good fit, you should consider factors such as:

  • Any side effects you experience
  • Whether or not your symptoms improve
  • The severity of your depression
  • Any other mental health diagnoses you have
  • Interactions with other medications you take

Keep in mind that you won’t notice improvements immediately. It takes time to experience the effects of taking an antidepressant. If daily antidepressant medications alongside other forms of treatment do not result in improvements in your condition, you might consider alternative options such as ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant mood disorders. 

Antidepressants are well-researched and have resulted in immense improvements for countless people with depression. Schedule your visit at MindMD by phone or online to get the help you need for depression today.