Medicines for Depression and Anxiety – What to Expect

Closeup of red and blue prescription capsules

If you have been suffering from depression and anxiety, seeking help to deal with the debilitating symptoms is the first step. You may have found in life that ever the simplest of tasks has now become insurmountable and responsibilities you have to shoulder are now more difficult. These are some of the reasons why more people are turning to medications to help them deal with depression and anxiety. New medications are becoming available each day. It is no wonder that more patients want to know whether or not they can expect a turnaround in their mental health – before they even begin the treatments.

What Your Doctor Knows

Before you begin to think about mental health medications, you will want to talk to your primary care doctor to rule out any physical disorders that may be causing your symptoms. For instance, a thyroid imbalance can present itself as a depressive disorder, but requires completely different medication. Once you have ruled out those physical disorders, you will want to talk with a psychiatrist about problems you are experiencing in order to properly prescribe a medication that suited to your needs. Because these doctors are more experienced with behavioral drugs, they often can give you an accurate description of what the drug will do and what you might be able to expect.

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind in any medication therapy:

Results Can Take Time

While you might want immediate results from the medications you are taking, this isn’t always how it works. Many of these medications require a few days to a few weeks to build up in your blood stream. Blood tests may be needed to see if the right amount of the medication is in your body in order to provide the positive effects. If you are on other drug therapies, you may need to stop those therapies first or change your dosages in order to maintain your medication levels.

When those levels have stabilized, you might still need a few months for your body to adjust. This is especially the case for women due to the effects of estrogen on the body. However, if you are not seeing results after about three weeks of medication, you may want to increase the dosage or try a new treatment regiment, as prescribed by your doctor.

There are also some medications that can lose their effectiveness after a period of time, resulting in a need to change medications. Some people simply will need medication changes every few months, even if the medication was working because their brain chemistry also changes, resulting in the need for new chemicals.

Side Effects Can Occur

As with any medication, medicines for depression and anxiety can often have side effects as a result of the treatment. You might experience things like:

  • Weight gain
  • Moodiness
  • Hunger
  • Appetite loss
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heart
  • Hair loss
  • suicidal thoughts
  • Stomach pains
  • Constipation

These side effects will vary from patient to patient and often subside as your body grows use to the medications. However, if you feel that the side effects are too uncomfortable, ask your doctor for another related medication or a lower dosage.

Is There a Cure?

With medications for depression and anxiety, there are two types of patients: those that have a chemical imbalance in their brains that can be stabilized by medications, and those that simply are having a hard time in life and only need temporary help for this difficult period. There really isn’t a cure for depression and anxiety, but rather a management regimen. When you have a chemical imbalance, you might need to continue to take medications for the rest of your life, while others might only need short term therapy to be able to get back into the swing of things.

  • Weight gain
  • Moodiness
  • Hunger
  • Appetite loss
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heart
  • Hair loss
  • suicidal thoughts
  • Stomach pains
  • Constipation

These side effects will vary from patient to patient and often subside as your body grows use to the medications. However, if you feel that the side effects are too uncomfortable, ask your doctor for another related medication or a lower dosage.

Is There a Cure?

With medications for depression and anxiety, there are two types of patients: those that have a chemical imbalance in their brains that can be stabilized by medications, and those that simply are having a hard time in life and only need temporary help for this difficult period. There really isn’t a cure for depression and anxiety, but rather a management regimen. When you have a chemical imbalance, you might need to continue to take medications for the rest of your life, while others might only need short term therapy to be able to get back into the swing of things.

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