It seems like everyone and their dog are on anti-depressants these days. Who doesn’t have times when they just can’t get excited about anything? When life seems flat and depressing. It can be difficult to get out of bed some days. Sadly, after a while the happy pills can leave you feeling less than jazzed.
What do you do when you’re taking anti-depressants and you still feel depressed?
The biochemistry of the brain remains largely a mystery to us even though great strides have been made in the last twenty years. But what once seemed like a simple solution–why not take a medication that removes angst?–is turning out to be less effective than originally thought.
Medication to assist in coping with emotional life challenges can be helpful in some situations, but perhaps not in quite the way first thought. Recent research indicates meds are only part of the picture. There are some individuals who swear their lives have been totally turned around by psychotropic medication and believe they couldn’t live without it. For most people, though, find this medication has a positive affect for only a period of time. After a while, they lose the emotional boost and must raise the dosage or change the medication to regain it. In addition, anti-depressants can have alarming side effects in some, with an actual increase in the incidence of suicide for a small percentage of teenagers and young adults.
Newer studies indicate that the better treatment for depression lies in a combination of talk therapy and medication.
Yep, talk therapy. Actually sitting down and talking with a real live person who’s focus is helping you solve your problems. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to find a therapist with a couch you can spend the rest of your life on. Talk therapy has evolved into a more collaborative effort…you and a therapist sorting through which behaviors work best for you. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety or relationship problems, you need an assistant who can help you sort your life out.
A good therapist will listen to you harder than your friends can. He or she has no axe to grind and will resist telling your how to handle your down days. You might actually want someone to tell you how to fix your depression, but it’s more important to understand it and help you fix the problem. You need to be empowered to direct your own life.
Medication has its place. Some individuals need help just to get out of bed. When things are this bad, take the pill. But don’t forget that you can sort your life through. The chemistry in your brain responds to different thoughts and different choices.
Even when you don’t feel capable, you still have the power to change.