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Who and when can prescribe antidepressants and why to take them is not a sign of weakness

The treatment of mental disorders is as protocol-based as the treatment of internal or infectious diseases, and psychiatric drugs have undergone clinical trials and certification.

And can it go away by itself, without medication and expensive psychotherapy?

You can say that mental disorders in many cases go away on their own, without treatment, and ask about the feasibility of therapy.

It's true - a depressive or anxiety disorder can go away on its own over time, but there are a number of "buts".

As long as the mental disorder continues, it is difficult, even impossible, for a person to perform everyday duties, work, lead a "healthy lifestyle", and this worsens the situation and reduces the chances of recovery.

At most, a person may resort to harmful ways of "helping" themselves, such as using alcohol or drugs.

Medicinal treatment of mental disorders allows you to gain time and does not allow you to neglect a person. It does not eliminate problems in life - but it prevents the appearance of new ones and gives strength to cope with the existing ones. This is also a lot.

What medicines are needed?

Antidepressants are a general name for several groups of drugs that are prescribed primarily for depressive disorder and its variants (such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

However, not all mental disorders require the use of antidepressants, and not only depression can be treated with them.

Antidepressants affect the way our neurons communicate with each other – particularly when it comes to mood.

Which drugs a specific person needs depends not only on the diagnosis, but also on the entire medical history, even family history, as well as other drugs that the person is currently taking.

If the doctor prescribed a psychiatric drug, but "the miracle did not happen", this does not mean that the doctor is bad, and evidence-based medicine is ineffective.

Quite often, the doctor selects the necessary drug and its dose in several approaches - this is a normal practice provided by medical treatment protocols. There are drugs of the so-called first, second, third line of therapy - if the first-line drugs (the most common and most universal) did not work, then they TRY further until they choose the right treatment regimen. In the vast majority of cases, this can be done.

And the terrible side effects?

Taking a number of antidepressants can have side effects such as loss of libido, changes in sleep patterns, and weight gain (not all at the same time). Some side effects go away as you get used to the drug, some go away after stopping the course of treatment, and sometimes the doctor prescribes another drug. Many people may experience no side effects at all.

But in a state of depression, even without medication, people often lose libido and relationships in general, healthy sleep, appetite, or have eating disorders (compulsive overeating, for example), may abuse alcohol or even try to commit suicide. Human life is on the scales.

More details - at the link:

The material was prepared within the framework of the implementation of the All-Ukrainian mental health program How are you? on the initiative of Olena Zelenska.

Source: Ministry of Health of Ukraine

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