What to Do During the Last Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressant to Kick In

Image: Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent

Villa Falconieri by John Singer Sargent

If it can be said that there is anything good about depression, this is when you’ll see it. Assuming that you are feeling much better than you did a month ago (and if you’re not, please read A Note about Antidepressant Treatment), you may feel almost as if you’ve been reborn. After having been deprived of the ability to enjoy everything your life has to offer, you’ll notice that colors are brighter, sounds are sweeter, smells and tastes have more depth. Having had a lack of interest in things you normally enjoyed before being depressed, you may find, as I did, that you are all of a sudden interested in everything, even things you never thought about before. Continue reading

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What to Do During the First Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressants to Kick In

Image: My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse

My Room at Beau Rivage by Henri Matisse

The key words here are indulge yourself. Listen, you’re having enough trouble getting out of bed every day and going to work or school. You don’t need to push yourself. Think of yourself as an invalid recuperating from a very debilitating illness. You have to pamper yourself, body and spirit. This page is therefore all about “cocooning”, that is, wrapping yourself up in layers of comfort to protect yourself. Continue reading

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Let’s All Trash Antidepressants (Not!)

I recently read an excerpt of the book A Brief History of Anxiety by Patricia Pearson, in which she more or less trashes every aspect of psychiatric drugs. She notes that people posting to websites comment on feeling emotionally flat or numb when they’re taking them, and says that they “yearn for their sorrow back.”

I am so sick and tired of hearing this over and over. For one thing, in the same way that companies generally only hear from dissatisfied customers and not the satisfied ones, you’re going to hear more from people who are unhappy with their antidepressant response than from people who are happy with it. Happy people are not still looking for a solution. They’ve moved on. People who are dissatisfied with their medication are either venting out of frustration or hoping someone has an answer. Continue reading

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Best Antidepressant May Depend on Patient: Study

(HealthDay News) — Newer antidepressants seem to be about as effective as one another, a new analysis indicates.

This suggests that the choice of which drug is appropriate for which patient should be made on the basis of such considerations as side effects, cost and patient preference.

“They’re all equally effective,” said Dr. David Schlager, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

“They’re interchangeable except for side effects,” he added, so psychiatrists do tend to “exploit the side-effect profile” to find suitable medications for individual patients, he added.

According to the background information in the new study, appearing in the Dec. 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, some 27 million people in the United States had taken antidepressants as of 2005.

via Best Antidepressant May Depend on Patient: Study.

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What do you do if your antidepressant “kind of” works?

Image: Open Window, Collioure by Henri Matisse

Open Window, Collioure by Henri Matisse

Does your antidepressant “kind of” work? If you feel better, but not good or normal, after starting a new antidepressant, you’re probably experiencing what’s known as a “partial response.” This can be very frustrating, and unfortunately many people assume that a partial response is the best they’re going to get, especially if their doctor hasn’t fully explained the possible outcomes of trying a new antidepressant. Also, a doctor that’s rushed or less than thorough may not query the patient in enough detail to realize that the response is only partial.

Fortunately, there are a few options to consider when you get a partial response to an antidepressant. All of these, except perhaps the exercise option, should be undertaken under your doctor’s care. Continue reading

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