Do I Have to Take Antidepressants Forever?
“Do I have to take antidepressants forever?” is a question that many people ask when they first receive a depression diagnosis. Antidepressants are prescription medications that can help you sleep better at night and reduce some of the other symptoms that you experience, including changes to your weight and appetite as well as your negative thoughts and feelings. Most people only need to take antidepressants for a short period as they recover. Knowing the right treatment for you and getting necessary aftercare can help you get off antidepressants.
What is Depression?
Before looking at depression myths, it’s helpful to look at some of the signs of depression. Those signs include:
- Sad, empty or hopeless feelings
- Feeling upset or angry for no reason
- Changes to your appetite that affect your weight
- Suicidal thoughts
- Trouble concentrating and/or thinking
Some people who suffer from depression also experience phantom pains, which are pains that occur for no known reason. This may include frequent headaches or stomach aches, but you may feel muscle aches and pains too.
Treatment for Depression
The best treatment for your depression depends on factors such as your age and the severity of your depression. Common treatments for depression include behavior therapy and talk therapy. Behavior therapy lets you work with a therapist as you address your negative thoughts and feelings. You’ll discover why you feel that way and learn coping mechanisms that help you battle those feelings. Talk therapy is similar but focuses more on talking through your problems than taking any specific actions.
Some find cognitive behavioral therapy helpful too. Also known as CBT, it can help you manage your symptoms and reduce the risk that you might have another depressive break in the future.
Your therapist will help you set goals based on what you want to accomplish. The therapist will encourage you to take steps towards meeting those goals but recommend that you take small steps. CBT therapy often uses daily check-ins or visits to make sure that you make progress every day. During your first session, the therapist can help you get an idea of how long you need to attend therapy to cope with your depression.
Do Antidepressants Work?
Roughly 14% of adults in the United States take antidepressants, which is why some ask, “do antidepressants work?” Another 11% of children and teenagers take these medications too. It is one of the more commonly prescribed medications in the nation because studies found that these drugs can help individuals cope with their symptoms of depression and recover. Doctors will often recommend antidepressants to patients who need help managing their daily lives and those who found that therapy alone did not help with their symptoms. You may take antidepressants as part of a treatment plan that includes counseling or therapy too.
Do I have to take antidepressants forever is a question that some ask as they struggle with depression. This is one of the more common myths associated with the condition. You do not need to take antidepressants forever nor do you need to get a prescription from a counselor or therapist. During your first few sessions, you’ll have the chance to talk about your needs and find out whether antidepressants can help. Before giving you a prescription, the therapist will talk about the possible side effects and ensure that you take a medication that treats your symptoms and works for you. You may need to take that medication for a few months or longer but not for the rest of your life.
Myths About Depression
Before receiving an official diagnosis, you might worry about the depression myths that you read on the internet or hear from friends. A common myth is that you need to take antidepressants forever. Many people use antidepressants for a few months and then slowly wean their way off the medication. Others take antidepressants for years before they discontinue the medication. Another myth is that depression is something you can recover from without any help. Though you can recover from depression, you need some help along the way, whether it’s a therapist or medication.
You might hear a myth that depression is something that only happens after a type of traumatic event. It’s possible to have depression without surviving a near-death experience or seeing someone close to you die. Those who struggle with depression may exhibit symptoms after a traumatic event, but the depression is already something that they had inside of them. If you have a family history of depression such as a parent who struggled with the condition, you may suffer from it yourself. Even though some claim that women are more likely to suffer from depression, some research indicates that men are just as likely to have depression.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Depression
Also known as TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a type of treatment that can help those diagnosed with depression. TMS begins with a consultation in which you can talk about your symptoms and learn about the benefits of this treatment. You will then attend daily sessions for six to eight weeks that last for 18 minutes. If your therapist believes that another type of therapy can benefit you, you can sign up for those sessions at the same time. Some of the benefits of choosing TMS include:
- Flexible appointments and sessions that work around your schedule
- Covered by most forms of insurance
- Takes place in a comfortable setting
- Helps you sleep better and improves your concentration
- Reduces the symptoms of your depression
At Pulse TMS, you can get the support that you need as well as an answer to the question, “Do I have to take antidepressants forever?” With TMS and other types of therapy and help, you can discontinue the use of your medications with permission from your doctor and opt for a different type of help. Our services may provide the support that you need before taking any type of antidepressant too. Call today to learn more about TMS and how it can help your depression.