Will The Fog Ever Lift?

Over my 25 years working in pharmacy I have seen many individuals come to the pharmacy counter to pick up an antidepressant medication for the first time.  We have a discussion about the medication, hopefully understanding that the depression may not go away by tomorrow.  This is a process.  The body needs to adjust and acclimate to the medication.  Quite often, not all the time, but really quite frequently, I talk with the person the next month when they come in to get their refill of their medication....and the fog has lifted, the sun has come out, and they are seeing the world in a completely different light!

Depression is real. When your neurotransmitters (the message carrying chemicals in your brain) become low for some reason, your body may receive mixed signals about emotion, behavior, body temperature, and many other functions we take for granted. This process of decreased and mixed signals about how we feel may sometimes be diagnosed as depression.

These neurotransmitters may be decreased for any number or reasons, however, most commonly it is from a prolonged stressful (emotional or physical) situation. Our body is made to handle short bouts of intense stress, however, if someone needs to carry an emotional or physically stressful situation for an extended period of time, the neurotransmitters will actually diminish and lead to a decreased ability to send and receive the important messages of daily function. I say short vs. long in relative terms. The time frame will be different for each individual.

Other common reasons for a decrease in neurotransmitter message sending ability include aging, not sleeping well, hormonal imbalance, genetics and significantly limiting your food intake for an extended period of time. Based on all the reasons for neurotransmitter deficiency, it is quite likely that anyone reading this blog will experience some amount of depression at some point in their life.

Many non-medication therapies have shown benefit in increasing neurotransmitter levels including yoga, acupuncture, massage, hypnosis and meditation. If we have the time and resources, taking our self out of the daily grind for six months and living in a warm cabin in a meadow, meditating for 8 hours a day, would most likely allow our body to recharge and rebalance our neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, we usually do not have the time to take ourselves out of the daily grind, and quite often we end up at our Doctors office discussing the medical alternatives.

There are quite a few newer antidepressant medications that work to help increase our level of neurotransmitters. This increase in message sending ability then helps us process thoughts easier and gain a better outlook on life so that we may manage daily living a little easier.

It is important to realize that psychotherapy goes hand in hand with antidepressant medication treatment. This is crucial for two reasons; first, your therapist will help you see and understand what it was that triggered the decrease in neurotransmitters and led to the depression, and second, it is a good idea to have a non-biased third party that you can discuss with how the medication is working. They will help you define where you need to get to and help you know when you are there.

To learn about the different medications available to treat depresson, please visit AudibleRx and register to become a member.  You will then have full access to all of the Medication Specific Counseling Sessions for all fo the anti-depressant medications, as well as all of the other currently available medications.

You may also be interested in reading the blog:  Anxiety vs. Stress

Thanks
Steve
www.audiblerx.com

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