When taking medications for anxiety or depression patients must realize that these are not necessarily the best answer for these potentially serious mental disorders. There are several issues which rise to the surface including the fact that the medications may work for some people while they fail for others.
These medications including anti-depressants impact the brain in ways which may change people’s moods. Anxiety drugs may help some people deal with their feelings. These medications for anxiety or depression, however, are not cures since they only help to control the symptoms of anxiety or depression.
There is no healing process involved with these drugs for anxiety or depression and they often don’t even impact the symptoms right away. They may take days or even weeks before patients may see changes. Individuals must remember that many of these drugs work by making changes to the chemistry in the brain. However, once you stop taking the medications these changes are reversed back to their original condition and the symptoms of anxiety or depression will return in full force.
I realize that many people have no alternative but to turn to these medications for anxiety or depression so that they can get a chance for a life that approaches some semblance of normality. However, patients must closely monitor their psychological and physiological responses to the medications. Why? Because, while some medications may have no observable negative effect, there are others which can wreak havoc and make your life worse than before. The side effects of some of these medications are often worse than the anxiety or depression that they have been prescribed for.
Additionally, it may not be that your anxiety or depression medication is ineffective or incorrect. It may be that the dosage is incorrect for the problem that you have. When your doctor changes the prescription dosage (up or down), many of the negative side effects may be reduced or disappear altogether. One of the issues with managing the right dosage is that doctors prescribe medications for anxiety or depression without the close follow-up that is needed to ensure that the dosage is right. In many cases, it may take a patient months to get a follow-up appointment with a doctor who has a busy practice.
Therefore, rather than relying on the ‘wisdom’ of a busy doctor, patients who take medications for anxiety or depression should monitor their responses closely, and then if they feel that changes are needed, they should be aggressive in getting to their doctors immediately. In cases like this, I have suggested to my clients that they walk into the doctor’s office and demand to see the doctor right then and there. Doctors can always ‘squeeze’ in another appointment. If you call on the phone however, expecting to get the appointment, the clerical gatekeeper is going to stay on script and attempt to block your efforts to get an immediate appointment (if none is readily available).
There are times when doctors inform patients that it will take time for the anxiety or depression medication to work and for the side effects to ‘smooth out’. Don’t buy that line of reasoning. If you feel bad… if you feel something is not right… if you feel worse… if you are experiencing symptoms that have nothing to do with your anxiety or depression… be aggressive and get help right away… while you can.
Why? Some of the side effects for some of these anxiety or depression medications are potentially deadly including suicide or even black outs and vertigo while driving. Imagine driving on the highway and experiencing vertigo!
So… if you experience troubling symptoms from your new anxiety or depression medication… do whatever needs to be done to get to the doctor. And, if that proves difficult – get another doctor right away! In this case break the rules that they set… and get help.