AS@W Antidepressant Skills Workbook: Heling You Deal With Depression
More about medication


Medication is quite helpful in a number of cases. Many of those who take antidepressant medication experience a lift in mood and a reduction in other symptoms (such as loss of appetite or difficulty concentrating).

But medication is seldom a complete treatment for mood problems: it is also important to make changes in how you think about and handle your life. Don’t use medication as a way of allowing you to keep living an unhealthy or unfulfilling lifestyle. Instead, medication can give you the energy and mood lift you need to make changes (such as starting a regular exercise program, learning assertiveness skills, or defining and working toward your life goals).

Here are some additional points about medication:

Different medications work for different people.

It can take time to find a medication (or a combination of medications) that works well for a person without too many side effects. Side effects may include sleep difficulty, change in appetite and loss of sexual desire.

Never stop taking medication suddenly.

Some people have unpleasant reactions to discontinuing antidepressant medications. If you wish to stop a medication, consult with your prescribing physician. Usually you will stop in stages by gradually taking less over time.

Certain people benefit from taking medication for a long time.

For some people, antidepressant medication continues to have beneficial effects over the long term. Most people take medication for a while in order to get the strength to make positive changes, then gradually stop using it.

It can be tempting to stop taking a medication as soon as you get the level of improvement you want.

The result is often a rapid return of the problem. It is generally best to stay on the medication until your mood has been steady for a while. Reductions in medication may then be done gradually while your mood is monitored.