Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s a serious condition that needs a good recovery plan and a good dose of understanding. With early detection, and a treatment plan consisting of medication, therapy and lifestyle choices, many people can start feeling better.
Symptoms of depression may include:
- persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- loss of interest in most normal activities
- changes in sleep patterns
- tiredness and lower energy level
- anxiety, apathy, restlessness
Managing depression often requires treatment with counseling and possibly medication. If you think you are suffering from depression, it’s always a good idea to discuss with your primary care physician (PCP). You can also self-refer to see a mental health specialist.
Medication treatment and Follow-up Care:
There are many antidepressant medications available. Screening and evaluation by your PCP or a behavioral health professional is essential prior to prescribing an antidepressant. Taking antidepressant medications as prescribed is a key to successful treatment.
If antidepressants are prescribed, keep these points in mind:
- Most antidepressants take 4 to 6 weeks before they have an effect, and for their side effects to ease up.
- When beginning a new medication or changing dosing, it’s important to be followed by your doctor for any unwanted behavior changes the medications may cause.
- It’s important to continue the medication(s) and keep follow-up visits with your physician. People sometimes want to stop the medication due to feeling side effects, or due to lack of improvement in the short term. These issues should be discussed with your physician so that alternate treatment options can be discussed.
Click here for more information on depression from the National Institute of Mental Health