Can antidepressants cure depression?

If you want to know whether antidepressants will cure you like antibiotics cure infections, the answer is no; they do not eradicate the underlying cause of depression.

The reason why antidepressants cannot permanently cure depression is the way they work. Antidepressants target one or more neurotransmitters that are thought to be involved in regulating emotions, keeping a larger number of these neurotransmitters in the brain, and theoretically make up for any defects that may cause a person’s depressive symptoms. However, this effect is only temporary; when you stop taking antidepressants, your brain chemistry will return to its previous state.

Antidepressants and long-term effects

However, if what you really want to know is whether they can alleviate the symptoms of depression in the long term, then the answer is yes. Antidepressants do seem to provide lasting benefits to people who take them.

in 2011 Journal of Psychiatry Research According to reports, depressed adults who take antidepressants are three times more likely to be depressed after eight years than those who do not take the drugs.

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Unfortunately, when people start to feel better, they usually think this is a sign that they have healed, and they will stop taking the medication on their own, which can cause serious problems. Not only are they likely to experience depression again, or even worse, but they may also experience symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, and nausea due to drug withdrawal syndrome.

To avoid these problems and get the best results from antidepressants, consider the following tips:

  • Allow enough time for your medicine to work before you give up. Generally speaking, it takes two to eight weeks for antidepressants to have their full effect.
  • Take antidepressants exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Not taking the full dose or skipping the dose can cause problems, and the drug will not work as it should.
  • Do not stop taking the medicine without consulting a doctor. Your doctor will be able to advise you whether it is a good idea to stop taking the medicine. They can also help solve any problems you may encounter, such as unpleasant side effects. Finally, they will be able to help you avoid any potential problems, such as withdrawal syndrome or worsening depression.
  • If the first medicine you tried doesn’t help, don’t give up. Different antidepressants work slightly differently, and you may need to try several different medicines to find the right medicine for you.
  • Don’t stop taking antidepressants when you start to feel better. Quitting smoking too early may cause depression to relapse. Your doctor will help you determine when and if antidepressants should be stopped.

So, does this mean that you have to take antidepressants for the rest of your life? unnecessary. Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether you need to take antidepressants indefinitely is the risk of recurrence of depression. If this is your first depressive episode, your doctor may recommend that you continue to take the medicine for four to nine months (sometimes up to a year), and then gradually reduce the dose.If you have had two depressions, a family history of depression, or a particularly severe episode of depression, your doctor may recommend that you take antidepressants for a long time.

If you have 3 or more depressive episodes, your doctor may want you to continue taking antidepressants because you are 95% more likely to relapse within two years.

Long-term use of antidepressants

Fortunately, there is more and more research on the long-term use of antidepressants and how they affect your health. Like all drugs, SSRIs may have side effects such as weight changes, sleep changes, and sexual side effects.

Despite the potential side effects, long-term use of antidepressants has many benefits, including feeling less depressed and overall better quality of life. However, you may need to try multiple drugs before you can find the best medicine for you.

Whether you take antidepressants for life is the best decision between you and your doctor or mental health care provider. Treating depression is a balancing act. You need to weigh the pros and cons and decide on the right plan for your overall health.