Hello Lovely – It’s been a tough one, huh? Let me first acknowledge your struggles, your family’s struggles, and your community’s struggles. Your resilience has brought you here though, so welcome back. I offer a virtual hug and embrace.
Today I want to address the difficult decision regarding medication assisted treatment. It’s a scary choice…with a whole internet full of complicated advice. To reduce all the noise and help guide you, I’ve listed five points to consider when deciding if taking an antidepressant may be the next best step.
And of course, here comes my disclaimer. I am not licensed to prescribe medication. Always refer to your local practitioner for additional information and resources. “Psychiatrist” or “psychiatric nurse practitioner” are the terms you want to search for.
So here we go:
- You’ve been actively engaged in therapy for a considerable amount of time, you’re eating healthy, exercising on the regular, and your depression and anxiety symptoms are still interfering with functioning. Your inner voice may be screaming, “BUT I’M DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS!!!”
- You received a full physical check up from your PCP, with all the recommended bloodwork, and your doctor tells you everything is “normal”.
- You’re crying, angry, or upset (level 10 upset) for more days than not.
- You have reoccurring thoughts of not wanting to participate in life any longer (i.e. you want to throw in the towel and quit).
- Your closest relationships are bringing you an unusual amount of stress. You find that you’re always getting upset about what someone has said or done.
Research has shown that the most effective form of treatment for mental health symptoms includes a combination of both medication and therapy. The best thing about medication is that you can work closely with your doctor in finding the right one. Some antidepressants just don’t jive with your body and can cause uncomfortable side effects. It’s certainly wise to try another one if the first one doesn’t fit…just like finding the right therapist, eh?! Lastly, taking an antidepressant can be a short term solution. Just because you’re taking it now, does not mean you will take it forever.
Sending all my support your way. -Melissa