font size

Antidepressants: Get the Facts (cont.)

Can alternative treatments help in treating depression?

For minor depression (dysthymia), Fieve says that exercising regularly, reducing stress, and improving sleep can help patients relax and feel better.

But what about those with major depressive disorder? "Medications are necessary," Fieve says. "Psychotherapy is also a useful adjunct in combination with medications."

What about teens and antidepressants?

The latest findings published in The Journal of the American Medical Association show that depressed teens who don't respond well to the first prescribed antidepressant medication begin to improve if they are switched to a different antidepressant medication and also offered "talk" therapy.

The combination -- switching medications and offering talk therapy -- works better than simply changing medications, the researchers found, although switching medications alone also offers improvement.

What are the common signs of depression?

Symptoms of depression vary per person but may include depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, diminished interest or pleasure in activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleep, fatigue or loss of energy, impaired concentration, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt, among others.

Teens and children with depression may experience apathy, social withdrawal, weight loss, insomnia, fatigue, isolation from family and friends, a drop in school performance, and even drug or alcohol abuse.

Fieve said there are standard guidelines for diagnosing and treating a host of mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar depression, and others published in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition - the DSM-IV.



Emotional Wellness

Get tips on therapy and treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations