How do I know if I need depression medication?

Why might your doctor recommend antidepressants? Your doctor might suggest that you try antidepressants if: You have tried counseling and lifestyle changes, and they haven’t worked. Your symptoms are bad enough that they interfere with your daily life.

Key points to remember

  • Taking medicine for your depression can help you get your life back to normal, especially if you also get counseling. But if your symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes and counseling may be all you need.
  • You don’t need to be ashamed about taking antidepressants. Depression is a health problem, not a character flaw or weakness. The medicines won’t change your personality.
  • Antidepressants don’t work right away. And you may need to try a few before you find one that works.
  • Side effects are one reason that people stop taking antidepressants. But talk to your doctor. There are many ways to manage side effects. And lowering the dose or changing medicines may also help.
  • The thought of needing to take medicine for a long time can be scary. But many people are able to slowly stop taking antidepressants after a while.

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