Are you concerned about your antidepressants not working? It can take a lot of trial and error to find the right medication for treating depressive symptoms. And even once you find it, there’s always a chance that your medication might not always work quite how you need it to.
The first thing to keep in mind when concerned about your antidepressant or anxiety meds not working is that it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find relief again. There are several reasons medications stop working for people, including physical changes and general reductions in effectiveness over time. A mental health professional can work with you to get back on track, either adjusting your dose to provide more benefits or switching you to a new medication.
No matter the cause behind it, here are some of the signs your antidepressants aren’t functioning like they’re supposed to – and what to do next.
Antidepressants aren’t miracle drugs. For many, however, they can provide remarkable quality of life improvements and combat both depressive symptoms and behaviors related to those symptoms. It all comes down to how well they’re working.
Signs that your antidepressant is working how it’s supposed to include:
Some people experience these benefits within weeks of starting antidepressant medications. Others require changes in dosage or medication type in order to find their best fit, though it’s worth noting that antidepressants can take as long as one to two months to kick in fully.
As for signs your antidepressant isn’t working – or at least isn’t working for your personal needs – look out for things like:
Another big sign your antidepressants aren’t meeting the mark is if you experience worsening depressive symptoms, or no change in symptoms at all.
Depression is treatable. Here’s what to do if your antidepressant stops working so that you can get the relief you need.
DO contact your doctor: They’ll be able to work with you to figure out what’s going on and what to do next. This may entail running some lab work to determine if physiological changes are at play, or asking questions about changes in your health and/or lifestyle. From there, you can decide together whether you need an adjustment in dose or another medication entirely.
DON’T quit cold turkey: The safest way to stop taking an antidepressant is to wean off slowly. So, even if you think that your medication isn’t working anymore, you still need to lower your dose with help from a doctor gradually. Quitting abruptly could lead to serious side effects, including worsening depressive symptoms.
DO practice other coping skills: While you figure out a new medication strategy, look for other ways to deal with your depression. This may mean increasing your use of mental health treatment, such as counseling, or practicing additional types of self-care.
DON’T lose hope: There are so many types of antidepressants available. If one drug or type of drug isn’t working for you, that simply means that you have to go back to the drawing board – not that you have to give up entirely.
There’s an appropriate treatment plan out there for everyone. Our goal at South Beach Detox is to work closely with patients to determine what is and isn’t working in their current approach to mental health and wellness, including medical detox for substance use and support for co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety. Please contact us to learn more about our services and to begin your path to recovery.