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Depression and Medication (Part One)


JUDGING THE EFFECTIVENESS
OF MEDICATION IS NOT ALWAYS STRAIGHT-FORWARD. IN SOME WAYS, THE PATIENT IS
THE LAST PERSON TO KNOW THEY’RE GETTING BETTER. THAT IS, THE PATIENT
MAY COME IN AND SAY, THIS MEDICINE ISN’T WORKING. IT’S NOT HELPING. THEN YOU ASK, WELL
HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING? WELL I’M SLEEPING BETTER. I’M ACTUALLY ABLE TO
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. OR THEY’LL SAY THIS MEDICINE
ISN’T HELPING AT ALL. YOU KNOW, YESTERDAY I WENT OUT
AND DID MY CHORES IN THE YARD AND I WENT SHOPPING
AND I JUST FELT LIKE I COULDN’T GO ON. WHEREAS THE WEEK BEFORE THEY
WERE NOT DOING ANYTHING BUT LYING IN BED. SO SOMETIMES THE PATIENT
DOESN’T RECOGNIZE THAT THEY’RE GETTING BETTER. COMMONLY THE FIRST THINGS TO
IMPROVE ARE SYMPTOMS SUCH AS SLEEP, ANXIETY, ENERGY. MOOD CAN LAG BEHIND. THE PATIENT’S MOOD
MAY NOT IMPROVE. THEY MAY NOT FEEL LESS DEPRESSED
OR SIGNIFICANTLY LESS ANXIOUS FOR WEEKS SO IT’S A MATTER OF
GETTING A PATIENT TO STICK WITH THE TREATMENT, ENCOURAGING THEM
TO WORK THROUGH ANY SIDE EFFECTS THEY MIGHT HAVE FROM MEDICATION, GETTING THEM TO STICK WITH
TREATMENT LONG ENOUGH FOR THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT EFFECTS
TO KICK IN. PSYCHOTHERAPY IS VITAL IN THIS. NUMBER ONE,
WE’VE GOT TO GIVE THE PATIENTS SUPPORT THEY NEED,
HELP THEM GET OVER THEIR LIFE PROBLEMS, IT ALSO
OFFERS THEM ENCOURAGEMENT TO STICK WITH THE COURSE
OF TREATMENT.

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