Depression and Medication (Part Two)


IF SOMEBODY HAS HAD A
PARTICULARLY SEVERE DEPRESSION WHERE THEY TRY TO TAKE THEIR
LIFE, WHERE IT TOOK MONTHS OR YEARS
TO GET THEM OVER DEPRESSION, EVEN IF IT’S ONE EPISODE,
I MIGHT TELL THEM I THINK YOU SHOULD STAY ON MEDICATION
LONG-TERM, FOR MANY YEARS, POSSIBLY FOR
LIFE. IF SOMEBODY HAS HAD A
MILD DEPRESSIVE EPISODE, WE MIGHT JUST RECOMMEND A
FEW MONTHS OF TREATMENT, SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS
AND THEN DISCONTINUATION. ONCE SOMEBODY HAS HAD
TWO OR THREE EPISODES, I COUNSEL THEM THAT
THE RISK MAY BE SO HIGH, PARTICULARLY IF THE
EPISODES WERE SEVERE, THAT THEY MAY WANT TO STAY
ON MEDICINE FOR PROPHYLAXIS, THEY MAY WANT TO STAY ON
MEDICATION TO PREVENT THE DEPRESSION FROM RECURRING. THE MEDICATIONS WE HAVE NOW,
THE NEWER DRUGS ARE PRETTY TRANSPARENT TO MOST PATIENTS. THEY CAN’T TELL THEY’RE TAKING
THEM. THERE ARE MINIMAL SIDE EFFECTS AND NO LONG-TERM RISKS
TO TAKING THE MEDICATION. SO THERE REALLY IS VERY LITTLE
DOWNSIDE TO STAYING ON THE MEDICATIONS.

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