Should I Take Medication for Depression?
There are a few things to know when asking yourself, should I take medication for depression. The information offered is not intended to take the place of medical advice, rather it is intended to be added to any information you may already have about medications and medical advice received.
The United States prescribes more depression medication than any other nation in the world according to the Center for Disease Control. Those numbers indicate about 1 in 10 people in the U.S. are on medication for depression.
Less than one third of those people have seen a mental health therapist in the past year. These numbers are very high. It wouldn’t be hard to find a doctor to prescribe depression medication in the U.S.
New research is also shows that medications for depression aren’t as effective as past research has shown. Check out these two articles, here and here.
With that said, there are certainly cases that medication for depression are effective in treating depression. The question of whether or not you should take medication for depression is up to each individual. The decision should not be taken lightly. Seek the help of both medical and mental health professionals. It is also important to make an educated decision. Here are a few things to help you in considering medication…
Should I take medication for depression?
6 Things to Know
1.Get a physical first.
See your medical doctor for a complete physical in order to rule out any medical issues that may be causing symptoms of depression. It is possible that a medical condition can be causing fatigue, poor focus and difficulty sleeping among other symptoms.
2.There is no conclusive blood test for depression.
Depression is diagnosed based on the patient’s verbal report of symptoms. There is no medical test that conclusively diagnoses depression. Taking medication for depression is meant to increase the neurotransmitters such as serotonin to boost your mood, yet there is no test to find out if your serotonin is actually low. Again, this is based on verbal report.
3.Try to naturally boost your mood.
There are many ways to naturally boost your mood. Exercise, sleeping through the night, taking a walk, having a good laugh all contribute to boosting your mood. Engaging in an attitude of gratitude is shown to improve happiness by a whopping 25%!
4.Know the side effects.
Ask your doctor to go over the side effects before taking medication for depression. Often, many side effects must be endured to achieve the boost in mood. Spend some time weighing the cost and benefits.
5.See a psychiatrist (not a family doctor).
I recommend seeing a psychiatrist, rather than a family practice doctor before taking medication for depression. A psychiatrist specializes in depression and the medications typically used for treating depression.
6.Seek mental health therapy with the use of medication.
If you decide to take medication for depression, see a mental health professional as well. By mental health professional, I’m referring to a therapist or counselor for talk therapy. A therapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy specifically focuses on targeting the thoughts that may be leading to a depressed mood. Often, symptoms of depression are a response to our view of self and the world around us. Medications won’t resolve heart issues that shape our perception.
Should you take medication for depression?
This is a question that is individual to each person. Get a physical first to rule out any possible medical conditions that may cause depressive symptoms. Remember, doctors are basing your need for medication on your verbal report, not a blood test or any other conclusive test.
Whether you decide to take medication for depression or not, use natural mood boosters, as well. Definitely see a psychiatrist, who specializes in treating and prescribing medications for depression. Seek talk therapy that targets thought patterns that could be leading to or making your depression worse.
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