For most people living with depression, the most important thing that can be done to manage their illness is to take their daily medication. When beginning an antidepressant regime, finding the correct type of medication and dosage can be frustrating and take time. Some people luck out and experience great results with the first prescription their doctor tries, while others take some trial and error to find something that works. With some patience, though, virtually every patient can be helped.
An important thing to remember regarding living with depression and anti-depressants is that they build up in your system over time, so it may take up to a month to feel the full effect of the medication. Suddenly going off the medication can be extremely dangerous, so it is imperative that patients are gradually weaned off of their medication to prevent dramatic mood shifts, suicidal thoughts, and sometimes quite severe physical withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy can be very beneficial for people trying to get their depression under control. Not only can therapy give patients the opportunity to talk about their frustrations and emotions, but trained counselors and psychotherapists can help those patients understand their depression, why it makes them act and react in certain ways, and how to manage their symptoms and keep them under control.
No matter what a person does to control and live with their depression, if the important people in their lives are unsupportive, they will likely never find true relief. Spousal and parental support is crucial. It can be very frustrating for a person to live with someone who is depressed, but they must understand that it isn’t something that can just be switched off. Someone who is diagnosed with depression can’t just ‘get over it,’ and they aren’t weak or over-emotional. It is a medical illness, much like diabetes or high blood pressure, and one that can be very difficult to control or predict.