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Himynameismia Offline
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Unhappy Depression medication - August 26th 2013, 11:44 PM

I'm starting to go on depression medication. But I'm a little confused.
how will this help me?
how long will it take before I feel better?
how does depression medication even work?
what brand works best for you?
Please answer. Thank you.
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Re: Depression medication - August 27th 2013, 12:45 AM

Hey there, I'll start with the how will it help me/how does it work question. It depends on what medication it is, but each one works on a certain brain chemical(s) to either increase or decrease it or your body's reaction to it which will in turn affect your mood. In most cases medication takes 2-4 weeks to start working. Everyone responds differently to different medication. I don't take any, but SSRI's are the most common and it might take awhile to figure out what works best for you.

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Re: Depression medication - August 27th 2013, 06:11 AM

I've moved this over to General Health because I think it fits better here.
When I was on anti-depressants, mine caused my brain to produce more serotonin as I'm low on it. It will take at least 2 weeks before you'll notice a different as Kate said. Keep in mind though that these aren't "happy pills." Instead they typically make your low moods less low. As for which brand to use, your psychiatist/doctor will go over your different options and suggest ones that would work best for you. Prozac tends to be the most commonly prescribed.

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Re: Depression medication - August 27th 2013, 11:43 PM

As I understand it, there are three main classes of antidepressants: SSRI's, SNRI's, and tricyclic antidepressants. If you want more of the technical information, you can read the wikipedia article here. Antidepressants generally take 3-6 weeks to start working.

For me, at first I was prescribed Zoloft, but I had a bad reaction to it. I was switched to Wellbutrin, and that works great for me. Something you should know is that a pill will not automatically make everything better. Medication helps lift your mood enough so you can fight the depression. It's very valuable, but it's not going to fix everything.

For a lot of your questions, it depends on what medication you get prescribed, and I would recommend asking them to your doctor.
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Re: Depression medication - August 31st 2013, 04:38 AM

It's a fairly safe bet that the first antidepressant you'll be prescribed will be an SSRI or SNRI. The former class acts on the neurotransmitter ("brain-signaling-molecule") serotonin, while the latter works on both serotonin and noradrenaline. Essentially, these drugs block receptors on the "sending neuron" that normally clear serotonin and/or noradrenaline from the synapse. This results in more transmitter available to stimulate the "receiving neuron." The result, in theory, is that you have more of the chemical binding to and effecting changes in certain brain cells. It has been proposed that a "shortage" of some neurotransmitters can lead to depression for various reasons, and the drugs are intended to rectify that problem.

Antidepressants usually take between 2 and 8 weeks (from personal experience) to start having positive effects. The reason for this is a bit unclear to me. After all, other drugs acting on the serotonin system (LSD, MDMA, etc.) induce their effects in less than an hour. It is my guess that the relief from depression actually comes from changes in the physiological structure of neurons, which can take a substantial amount of time to occur.

I have been on Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Effexor, obviously not at the same time! Effexor has worked best for me, though I have had some bad side effects and the drug can cause withdrawal if you stop taking it.

It is very important to remain in consultation with a good psychiatrist while starting meds for the first time. Everything will probably go fine, but you could experience side effects that are, frankly, upsetting. One of the meds I tried gave me horrible suicidal thoughts and another bad insomnia. Don't "go it alone" or start "experimenting" with dosage, etc. right away. And as always, I and others are here to offer our support and sometimes questionable advice if you need us

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