How can they help?
Firstly it is important to understand that Antidepressants can help a range of conditions. Most people will associate the medication with moderate to severe depression but they are also commonly used for the treatment of severe anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic pain, eating disorders and post traumatic stress disorder.
Types of Antidepressants
The four main types available are:
- SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
- SNRIs (serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors)
- Tricyclics and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) which are less commonly used
Are there any side effects?
All medication affects each and every person in a unique way but many individuals report side effects such as nausea, anxiety and indigestion within the first couple of weeks of usage but this is usually only temporary and will wear off quickly.
Many people worry that if they take antidepressants they will become addicted and dependent on them. However, this is not the case, as antidepressant drugs do not work in the same way as alcohol, nicotine and tranquillisers do. You will not find yourself craving them because they do not act quickly which is what pushes many to increase dosage.
What are my options?
Without any form of medication, most depressions will begin to improve after a period of around eight months.
Your GP will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your personal circumstances but if you have experienced two or more attacks it is likely they will advise a course of antidepressants.
They may also advise you to complete the course of medication as stopping before your depression is fully improved puts you at a higher risk of relapsing in the future.
Another option a GP may suggest is that of combining medication with that of a talking therapy such as counselling or psychotherapy.
Many recent studies looking into talk therapies have found that over the period of a year, many talking treatments are just as effective as antidepressants, particularly in cases of mild to moderate depression.
If you think you may be suffering with depression then please visit your GP who will be able to provide you with professional help and advice. If you would to find out more about how counselling can help depression then please visit the Types of Distress section of this site. To contact a counsellor in your local area please use the search tool located on the homepage.
Original article from BBC News.