Signs Your Depression Medication Is NOT Working
We have already discussed the signs that your depression medication is working, but what about the signs it’s NOT working? When should you look for a new antidepressant, and how can you ease that transition? The guide below will help you determine if your depression medication is not working, along with tips for switching to a new antidepressant.
You Immediately Feel Better
Believe it or not, feeling better right away isn’t necessarily a good sign. Most depression medication takes at least 4-6 weeks to start being effective. You won’t experience the full results until 8-12 weeks. If you feel better right when you take the medication, you’re either experiencing a side effect, or you’re in a placebo effect. That means that your brain thinks you should be feeling better, even if you really don’t. Wait a few weeks before you make a decision about the effectiveness of your medication.
You See No Change after 3 Months
As we mentioned above, depression medication can take up to 12 weeks to be effective. If you have not seen any changes after that time, you may need to talk to your psychiatrist about other medications. There are many antidepressants on the market, so there are other options for you to explore.
You Experience Significant Mood Swings
Antidepressants are designed to act as mood stabilizers. If you are experiencing significant mood swings, you may not be on the right medication. Once again, wait a few weeks before making a decision about the medication, and talk to your psychiatrist and therapist about your experiences.
Your Depression Symptoms Get Worse (Including Suicidal Thoughts)
The wrong medication can make your depression symptoms worse. That is why it is important to find the right treatment as early as possible. If you have been on your medication for a while and your symptoms seem to be getting worse, talk to your psychiatrist about other option. If you have an increase in suicidal thoughts, regardless of how long you’ve been on the medication, talk to your psychiatrist. They will immediately transition you to a medication that does not put your life at risk.
You Just Don’t Feel Right
You know your body better than anyone. Does something just feel off? You may not be able to pinpoint what’s wrong, but you can tell that something is not right. Some people experience a feeling of numbness. Others may feel like they are not thinking clearly. Trust your instincts, and tell your psychiatrist about your concerns. He or she will determine the next step to take based on your unique situation.
How to Transition to a New Antidepressant
Do NOT stop taking your antidepressant on your own. Abruptly stopping the medication can cause negative side effects, similar to addiction withdrawals. Even if you do not wish to switch to a new medication, you need to talk to your psychiatrist about weening off your current medicine. He or she will recommend the appropriate dosages to get you off the antidepressant safely.
If you are switching to a new depression medication, there will be a transition regimen to abide by. This may involve weening off the first medication and then gradually taking the new medication. In some instances, you can start taking the full dosage of the new medication without issue. Your psychiatrist may also recommend a higher dose of your current medication, along with tips for how to safely increase your dosage.
No matter what the circumstances may be, follow your psychiatrist’s advice to get off of or transition to a new depression medication.
To schedule an appointment with a highly-rated psychiatrist in Wisconsin, call Midwest Psychological Services at (715) 381-1980.