AS@W Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace
Depression in the Workplace
What should I know about medication?

Antidepressant medication is often helpful for individuals with major depression. Many who take antidepressants experience a lift in mood and a reduction in other symptoms (such as improvement in appetite or improvement in concentration and attention).

However, 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. Antidepressants cannot solve problems at work or home, but may help improve your mood, energy or concentration so that you can tackle these issues more successfully. Medication can help you to make important changes – such as starting a regular exercise program, learning assertiveness skills, or taking on a workplace challenge.

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 and has few side effects. Side effects may include loss of sexual desire, change in appetite and sleep difficulty. Sometimes the side effects of antidepressants or other psychiatric medications interfere with work function. One group of researchers interviewed employees returning to work after being absent because of depression, and many reported that medication side effects made it more difficult to readjust to work. There is a balance between the positive and negative effects of psychiatric medications – your physician can help you decide whether and how to use these medications.

Never stop taking medication suddenly.
Some people have unpleasant reactions to discontinuing antidepressant medications. If you wish to stop taking a medication, consult with your prescribing physician. Usually you will reduce your medication in stages, 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, and 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.

Talk to your physician if you have another health condition, are taking natural remedies or other medications, or are (or are planning to become) pregnant.
Some antidepressant medications may interact with other health conditions or remedies. Your family doctor will be able to advise you about the best option.


Most people take medication for a while in order to get the strength to make positive changes, and then gradually stop using it.

Next: An Example
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