Time for a Change?

If you have been on the same medication for a while and have felt depressed for longer than two weeks, you might want to talk with your prescribing doctor about changing your prescription. Why? Over time, some medications stop working as well as they once did. Your body gets used to them. Changes in weight and hormone balance can also affect the way some medications work.

Therapy Isn't Therapeutic Unless It's Helping

You may also feel “stuck” in your therapy. If you have been seeing the same therapist for a while and don't feel as if you're getting significantly better, you might want to discuss this with the therapist. It may be that you have made as much progress as you can with that particular person. He may even be able to help you find a new therapist.

Don't feel guilty for needing a change. You might simply “click” better with someone else. Or you may want to try a type of therapy, such as cognitive or interpersonal, that your current therapist does not provide. (That said, do make sure you're giving your current therapy enough time and enough of a chance to work. Though difficult at first, a frank conversation with your current therapist may open up the treatment to new and more effective avenues.)

Alert

When changing medications, you may need to wait a week or two in between the old and the new, to allow the first medication to leave your system completely. Another option your doctor might suggest is to reduce the dosage of one gradually while steadily increasing the new medication to proper therapeutic levels. Also, tell your dentist or any other doctor about all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you use; this can prevent dangerous drug interactions.

Change Can Be Hard

Any kind of change, whether in medication (or giving medication a try for the first time), or a therapist (or giving therapy a try for the first time), can be a little scary. But making a big change in your life while you're in the midst of a horrible depression can be very difficult, indeed. You may feel stuck in more ways than one, and find it hard to get started.

Many people have strong opinions about pharmaceutical companies, for instance. (True, they are large and profit driven. But their products also have been known to offer great benefit to large numbers of people.) However, when it comes to treating your depression, you'll want to make the best choices for you, rather than focus a great deal of your attention outward.

Ask for help from a trusted friend or family member; such a person will likely have noticed your predicament and will want what's best for you. Having support can make all the difference in taking those first steps toward getting the help you need and deserve.

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