9 Signs That Signal a Need For Antidepressants

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Feeling blue from time to time is a normal part of life, but when this “feeling blue” becomes a constant affair, that’s when it spells trouble. When the feelings of sadness persist and continue to interfere with your daily routine, it could be a sign of something more serious, such as depression. 

Depression is not simply “feeling blue” or “sad”; it’s a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that can influence how you think, feel, and handle your day-to-day functions. This mental health disorder affects millions of people worldwide and can interfere with your sleep, appetite, and quality of life. 

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for treating depression. One of the treatment approaches includes medication management with antidepressants. Today, we’re exploring the signs that indicate that you might need antidepressants for depression. 

Before you scroll down to read the signs you need antidepressants, let’s take a brief look into how antidepressants work in treating depression. 

The Role of Antidepressants in Treating Depression

Antidepressants are medications designed to alleviate symptoms of depression by adjusting the chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. These medications can help improve your mood, increase energy levels, and help you restore interest in activities you might’ve lost touch with.

While psychotherapy and lifestyle changes play an important role in managing depression symptoms, antidepressants can be highly effective, especially when you’re diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. 

Studies, over the years, have demonstrated the effectiveness of antidepressants in treating depression. For instance, one study found that antidepressants were significantly more effective than a placebo in reducing symptoms of depression in adults.

Another study showed that antidepressants were more effective in preventing depression relapse in people who had a history of recurring depression. 

“Do I Need Depression Medication?” Signs to Look Out For!

1. You Feel Persistent Hopelessness or Sadness 

Depression can manifest as a persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness. These feelings are too intense and can linger throughout the day for an extended time, typically for at least two weeks.

This continuous sadness can feel overwhelming and might not be necessarily triggered by any specific stressor or event. In any case, these feelings can cloud your mind, make everything feel negative, and harder for you to find any joy and satisfaction in life. 

2. You Have Lost All Pleasure in Day-to-Day Activities 

Another sign you need antidepressants to treat depression is that you don’t find any enjoyment in anything you do anymore. Once, what things made you feel pleasure and joy, don’t hold the same interest.

Hobbies, hanging out with friends, and even snuggling with your partner have lost their appeal. You have become withdrawn from social interactions and avoid all activities that you once looked forward to. 

3. You Are Experiencing Changes in Appetite or Weight 

Depression can impact you’re eating habits as well, leading to abnormal but significant changes in appetite or weight, often without any warning signs.

Some people may experience a decrease in their appetite, causing them to lose weight, while others may find themselves overeating or craving comfort foods more, causing them to gain weight. These fluctuations in appetite and weight can happen even if there are no external factors influencing your dietary habits. 

4. You Are Struggling to Get a Good Night’s Rest 

If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, then it’s a signal that you need antidepressants. Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of depression and can manifest in different ways. You may struggle to fall asleep, wake up frequently during the night, or sleep excessively and still feel exhausted. These sleep issues can worsen the feelings of fatigue and make you more tired during the day, impacting your well-being. 

5. You Don’t Have Any Energy Left Anymore 

Depression saps your energy until you’re left with no motivation or energy. You feel constantly lethargic and tired, regardless of how much rest you manage to get.

Even the simplest of tasks such as getting up from bed, brushing your teeth, or even eating your breakfast can become overwhelming and tiring. You can find it hard to find the motivation to do your tasks as well. This can indicate the presence of severe depression. 

6. You Can’t Make Smart Decisions or Concentrate Anymore 

You might need antidepressants if your cognitive functions are impaired. You can’t make decisions, concentrate, or retain any information you come across. This causes you to struggle to stay engaged in conversations or tasks, and experience memory lapses, or mental fog. In depression, making the simplest of decisions can feel daunting as depression clouds your ability to rationally think. 

7. You Experience Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt 

Depression can also distort your self-perception, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or self-blame that remain despite evidence to the contrary. You constantly berate yourself for perceived failures or shortcomings and experience a persistent sense of inadequacy or self-loathing. These negative feelings and thought processes can worsen the feelings of depression and despair. 

8. You Experience Physical Aches and Pains 

If you’re experiencing physical aches and pains, without any reason, then it’s a sign you need antidepressant medication. Depression doesn’t just manifest mentally or emotionally, but also physically. You may experience symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and muscle pains. These physical issues can be unexpected and might not be treated by conventional means. 

9. You Are Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors 

The most serious sign that you need antidepressants to treat depression is experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors. If you find yourself thinking constantly about death and suicide or engaging in self-harm, then it’s crucial to seek immediate help. These thoughts and behaviors are NOT normal and seek prompt intervention from a professional to ensure your well-being. 

Connect With a Mental Health Therapist TODAY

In case of a pre-existing medical insurance plan, call your provider to find all the above-mentioned details.

Staying Safe With Prescribed Medications 

If you and your therapist decide that antidepressants should be added to your treatment plan, then here are some tips to take the prescribed medications safely and effectively; 

1. Follow Your Physician’s Advice:

Take the prescribed medication exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not adjust or modify the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting with your healthcare provider. 

2. Be Patient:

Antidepressants work as well as any treatment approach, which means it can take weeks for you to start noticing their impact, so be patient. Continue to take them as prescribed by your physician, even if you don’t see any immediate improvement. 

3. Talk to Your Doctor:

Make sure you keep your doctor informed about any side effects or concerns you have about your medications. They can adjust the dosage or switch medications if needed. DO NOT take any medications that are not prescribed by your physician. 

4. Avoid Consuming Alcohol:

Alcohol as well as recreational drugs can interfere with the effectiveness of the antidepressants you’re taking, and might even increase your risk of experiencing side effects. So, if possible, try to avoid consuming alcohol or taking recreational drugs. 

5. Don’t Stop Your Medication:

Stopping your antidepressants abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms and can worsen your depression symptoms. If you and your physician decide to discontinue the prescribed medications, then they will offer guidance on tapering off of the antidepressants, safely. 

Knowing the signs that you need antidepressants is the first step toward getting the help you need to treat and cope with depression. If you’re experiencing constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness, or if you’re struggling to function in your day-to-day life, then it’s important to seek support and help from a professional. 

You’re not alone in your fight with depression, and with effective interventions, you can feel better and regain control of your life, once more. 

Remember, help is available. You just need to reach out for it! I hope this blog helped you understand the signs you might need antidepressants to treat depression and how to take them safely. 

Share your thoughts on this article in the comments box below. We love hearing from you! 

Take Care and Be Safe!

The post 9 Signs That Signal a Need For Antidepressants appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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