Anyone can develop depression. But, treatment is effective in about 80% of identified cases, when treatment is provided. Psychotherapy and medication are the two primary treatment approaches. Antidepressant medications can make psychotherapy more effective, for some people. Someone who is too depressed to talk, for instance, can't get much benefit from psychotherapy or counseling; but often, the right medication will improve symptoms so that the person can respond better.
Once you've been diagnosed with depression, your doctor may prescribe a specific drug regimen. Every person is different, so your treatment will be tailored to your needs. Below you'll find a list of antidepressants that may be prescribed to treat depression.
Antidepressants are used most widely for serious depressions, but they can also be helpful for some milder depressions. Antidepressants, although they are not "uppers" or stimulants, take away or reduce the symptoms of depression and help the depressed person feel the way he did before he became depressed.
Antidepressants are also used for disorders characterized principally by anxiety. They can block the symptoms of panic, including rapid heartbeat, terror, dizziness, chest pains, nausea, and breathing problems. They can also be used to treat some phobias.
Your physician will choose a particular antidepressant based on your symptoms. When you begin taking an antidepressant, improvement generally will not begin to show immediately. With most of these medications, it will take from 1 to 3 weeks before changes begin to occur. Some symptoms diminish early in treatment; others, later. For instance, energy level, or sleeping and eating patterns may improve before the depressed mood lifts. If there is little or no change in symptoms after 5 to 6 weeks, a different medication may be indicated, and you should discuss this with your physician. Some people respond better to one medication than to another. There is no certain way to determine which medication will be effective, so your doctor may have to prescribe first one, then another, until an effective one is found. Treatment with medication is continued for a minimum of several months and may last up to a year or more.