Medication

Medication (or taking tablets) is one of the many options available to help combat depression, anxiety, sleep problems and other mental wellbeing issues. Some people have strong feelings about medication, and would rather not take any while other people want to use such support very quickly. It is fair to say that there are pros and cons.

Some people have the belief that in recent times there has been a tendency to over-diagnose patients with sadness and distress as having depression, and to offer them antidepressant drugs. This may be because patients request treatment for symptoms of sadness and doctors can feel obliged to offer a diagnosis of depression and patients may also feel obliged to accept this diagnosis.

UK guidance from the National Institute for Care Excellence for the management of depression in adults, currently says that the “first-line” treatment approach for mild depression is not with drugs but instead with psychological interventions or physical activity programmes. Patients with mild depression or uncomplicated grief reaction usually will recover and don’t need drug treatment.

Medication (or taking tablets) is one of the many options available to help combat depression, anxiety, sleep problems and other mental wellbeing issues. Some people have strong feelings about medication, and would rather not take any while other people want to use such support very quickly. It is fair to say that there are pros and cons.

Some people have the belief that in recent times there has been a tendency to over-diagnose patients with sadness and distress as having depression, and to offer them antidepressant drugs. This may be because patients request treatment for symptoms of sadness and doctors can feel obliged to offer a diagnosis of depression and patients may also feel obliged to accept this diagnosis.

UK guidance from the National Institute for Care Excellence for the management of depression in adults, currently says that the “first-line” treatment approach for mild depression is not with drugs but instead with psychological interventions or physical activity programmes. Patients with mild depression or uncomplicated grief reaction usually will recover and don’t need drug treatment.

However, there are also times when some form of drug treatment is recommended but even here when medication has been prescribed, by itself, medication is not the best answer because any medication is most useful when forming part of a combined strategy to tackle the various effects of whatever the issue is. Some patients settle for swallowing the tablets and do not invest their own time or energy in making changes to their life. This may lead to an over-reliance and long-term dependency on drug treatment which may be quite unnecessary. So medication may be part of an answer but it is rarely the full answer to issues concerning our psychological wellbeing.

Nowadays, with the use of the internet it is always valuable to check to see how a drug works and any side-effects you should be aware of. Usually the doctor prescribing the drug will make this clear to you but you may be in a state of mind to take-in everything the doctor is saying. It is important that you learn how a drug works.

  • What will be the impact in the first 2 weeks?
  • When will you begin to feel any benefits?
  • What happens if you don’t feel any benefits after 4 weeks?
  • What are the side-effects?
  • Might the side-effects come before the benefits?
  • If you are taking more than one drug are there any known problems about this combination?
These are all legitimate questions which you can ask the doctor, the pharmacist or look online and then ask the doctor/pharmacist to clarify for you. Become the expert about your own body; know how it works and what it needs. If you are to take medication then it is your body and mind which will be affected and you should become informed about how you will be affected.