Many people experience depression symptoms that seem to be unaffected by conventional treatments. Before you decide that your antidepressant is not working, make sure you have eliminated other possible causes that treatment seems to be ineffective.
Before you change your current treatment, make sure your primary care doctor does blood tests to rule out thyroid problems as the root of your depression. Hypothyroidism has numerous effects, one of which is depression. Elevated levels of thyroid hormone can cause manic-like symptoms. Even borderline results for thyroid screenings can be the underlying cause mood changes. If you have borderline results, consider speaking with an endocrinologist, who may do additional tests to evaluate the function of your thyroid, especially if you have other symptoms.
You need to avoid using alcohol or recreational drugs, which can exacerbate depression and may be contraindicated in antidepressant treatments. Alcohol is a common drug used for self-medicating because people believe it will temporarily alleviate their problems or make them feel numb. Alcohol is a depressant and can make you feel even worse. Another problem with drinking is the rebound effect of increased anxiety. When alcohol or other drugs become a vessel for self-medication, it can create a cyclic effect of feeling worse and consuming more drugs to combat worsening feelings.
Although other drugs, such as some allergy medications, are not typically used as a way to self-medicate, they can be used to alleviate insomnia. Since they can cause drowsiness, you may feel sadder and more lethargic. Talk with your doctor if you experience insomnia. If you must use allergy medications, opt for ones that do not cause drowsiness.
Lack Of Multimodal Treatment
Many people only utilize one approach to their depression treatment, such as taking antidepressant medications. This is especially important if you are receiving medication from your primary care physician. Many general practitioners are the first-line defense against depression, and they may not refer you to a psychologist or counselor. If you are only taking medication and are not receiving therapy, you should seriously consider speaking with a mental health professional.
Medication alone is rarely enough to alleviate depression and help manage symptoms long-term. Even when imbalances in neurotransmitters are the root cause of depression, therapy is a critical component of developing coping skills and discovering other aspects of your life that can contribute to depression.
Depression is a complex illness with many underlying causes. If your first attempt at alleviating depression is not effective, consider what changes you can make to improve your chances at adequate symptom relief. For more help, contact a professional like those at Dr Kuris Counseling Centers.