Do Depression Medications Work?

Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 10:26 AM

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Depression is not just an emotional illness, it can also manifest itself physically. This condition can range from mild to severe resulting in the inability to function even for simple daily tasks like deciding what to eat, making appropriate judgment calls for your life, or even going to work.

Depression is not just about feeling blue or being mentally weak. It is a chronic illness that, in some cases, requires treatment that can become long-term. This condition is commonly treated with counseling and medications to alleviate the various symptoms caused by depression.

Currently, there are no definitive answers for what causes depression, but some of the factors that can make you susceptible to depression include the following:
  • Hormonal changes and imbalances during various times of life or thyroid problems
  • Neurotransmitter malfunctions that involve mood changes
  • Biological changes in brain patterns which are actual physical changes in the brain
  •  Life-changing events like the loss of a loved one, divorce, or financial problems
  • Childhood tragedies and traumas like neglect, abuse, or the death of a parent.
Some of the risk factors can include being female (twice as many women suffer from depression than men), genetic disposition, family history of alcohol abuse, lack of friends or personal relationships, low self-esteem or other negative personality traits, living in poverty, certain medications, serious illnesses, childbirth, and drug and/or alcohol abuse.

The treatments used for depression encompass various medications used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Antidepressants are used to treat depression. Some of the most commonly used medications are Prozac, Paxil, Cymbalta, Pristiq, Wellbutrin, and others. These medications fall under different drug categories and treat various symptoms which is one reason it is important to get a proper diagnosis for depression before taking any action toward treatment.

Side effects come with using antidepressants, so it is important that you educate yourself on these medications by researching online sources and asking your doctor and your pharmacist about them.

Medications are not designed to be a cure for depression. However, when properly used under careful direction and supervision they can help alleviate depression symptoms and help the sufferer live a better quality of life.

Not every person suffering from depression reacts the same to therapy and medication. Some people recover completely and require no further treatment over time while others must undergo long-term or lifetime treatments for depression.

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