Depression is increasingly common, nearly 300 thousand people are suffering from depression or depressive symptoms alone. The 2020 pandemic has created a dramatic increase in depression, and that doesn’t include anxiety. Depression and anxiety are one of the most common health issues people have to face. Antidepressants have become a commonly used tool to combat the difficulties associated with this condition. It’s important to know that there are other methods of coping with depression, and we encourage you to talk with your psychiatrist about what’s best for you.

What does a Psychiatrist do? 

When working with a psychiatrist, some diagnosis may lead to a treatment plan that includes medication. A psychiatrist will help determine the appropriate dosage, and monitor your progress along the way. Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, so this gives them the ability to prescribe medications such as antidepressants. Psychiatrists must attend medical school, and go on to complete their residency for four years after earning an MD. During residency, psychiatrists will often work in the psychiatric unit of hospitals, helping children and adolescents with behavioral disorders as well as adults with severe mental illness. 

What treatments can a psychiatrist prescribe?

Most people consider antidepressants after experiencing depressive symptoms for an abnormal period of time. Feeling a little “off” or sad is completely normal, but once your symptoms go on for too long it’s a good idea to consider help.  Psychiatrists recommend a range of treatments outside of antidepressants, including:

Psychiatrists don’t only focus on medication, they will also offer coping strategies, advice about diet, and other ways you can help yourself feel better.

Signs I should see a Psychiatrist 

Many people suffer with their mental health, but don’t seek help because they’re embarrassed or unsure of who to see. Recognizing when you need help is important, and there are a number of signs that indicate a psychiatric evaluation is a good idea. If you have noticed a negative change in behaviors which are now affecting your daily life, we encourage you to seek a therapist for further guidance. 

Some of the signs you may need a psychiatrist are: 

  1. Inability to Control Emotions
  2. Changes in Sleeping Patterns
  3. Substance Use
  4. Changes in Performance at School or Work
  5. Withdrawal from Social Situations
  6. Unexplained Physical Illnesses
  7. Excessive Anxiety, Worry or Sadness
  8. Frequent Nightmares or Temper Tantrums

How To Know If I Need Anti Depressants 

When speaking with your psychiatrist, you may want to have a say in your treatment options, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, being educated on the process will help you understand what choices you have so that you can feel confident in your treatment. 

What are antidepressants? 

Simply put, antidepressants increase certain chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. By supporting your brain chemistry, antidepressants can help you feel better by improving the communication between brain cells over time.

There are several types of antidepressants, and no evidence that one works better than another. While they all work to alleviate symptoms of depression similarly, the side effects of each medication are different. It’s important to remember that antidepressants don’t change your personality, and you don’t need to be ashamed about taking them. Depression is a health problem, not a character flaw or weakness.

What are the side effects of antidepressants?

Most of the side effects associated with antidepressants are minor or improve shortly after taking them. Most people who take medication for depression feel that the benefits outweigh the price of living with some side effects.

Side effects of antidepressants may vary depending on the one you choose, but common symptoms include:

  • Nausea.
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sexual problems
  • Headaches
  • Trouble falling asleep, or waking a lot during the night
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling nervous or on edge
  • Feeling drowsy in the daytime

Not all side effects from antidepressants will go away, but these side effects are much more manageable than living with depression. One of the great parts about working with a psychiatrist is that they will help you manage these side effects – if you experience them at all!

Saint Petersburg and Tampa Depression Treatment

Finding the right counselor, psychiatrist, or mental health professional may take some time. When it comes to your mental health and wellbeing, the relationship between you and your counselor is the key to success. 

If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, we encourage you to call our office. The team at McNulty Counseling and Wellness takes a holistic approach to promote balance in all areas of your life. We understand that not all brains react alike. We offer a variety of treatments from art therapy to therapy dogs to ensure that you are paired with your perfect program. Contact us here or call us at 727-344-9867 to schedule a remote consultation or an in-person session at our Saint Petersburg or Tampa, Florida office.