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The Basics of Antidepressants and How They Can Help You

If you’re currently being treated for depression, you’re likely taking an antidepressant as part of your treatment plan.

After all, these medications can help improve your mood, increase your appetite, help your concentration, and help you sleep better.

But let’s take a closer look at antidepressants, and how they can affect your life.

How Antidepressants Work

Have you ever wondered just how those antidepressants actually work?

Essentially, antidepressants work by balancing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. Depending on the medication, it could target serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine.

And while doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes depression or how it affects the brain, it’s clear that these medications do provide relief for many people suffering from depression.

First and foremost, antidepressants can help jump-start your mood. They can give you the boost you need to come up for air, so to speak.

This boost is what many people need to get over the crippling symptoms of depression so they can get back to doing things they enjoy again. It will also help clear the fog that prevents you from making better choices for yourself. And once you start doing things you enjoy and making better choices, it helps contribute to a more positive mood.

In other words, your antidepressants will likely make you feel better, by reducing the symptoms of depression.

However, it’s important to remember that they don’t work immediately. It usually takes three to four weeks before you notice a change in your mood. For some, it might even take longer than that. Being patient and taking your medication every day as directed is essential to increasing positive results.

But What if They Don’t Work?

Everyone is different, and that also applies to mood disorders and medications. What works for one person might not work for another.

While about 60 percent of people who start taking antidepressants feel better with the first medication they try, that means that 40 percent of people needed to try more than one. And sometimes, people who do feel somewhat better with a particular medicine find that they just need to adjust the dosage.

If you don’t notice any change in your mood after a few weeks, it’s time to talk to your doctor again. You might just need a different kind of medication.

Your doctor will be able to find the medication that’s right for you, and can help you get back to feeling like yourself.

Kat Sweet

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