Working with clients that are plagued by depression, as well as having a life long relationship with it myself, I think I can speak with some experience as to the effects that it can have on one’s life. For myself, I found that living without treating ” it”, was a huge waste of time. Depression can stop one from getting on with the life they want.
Because of licensing agreements, most therapists cannot discuss one antidepressant against another with clients. This is a doctors field of expertise. I have often found the local Pharmacist to have more time and more information when comparing the side effects of say Prozac versus Lexepro to a potential consumer, than a doctor who doesn’t have the time for such a discussion.
So, hopefully, without too many changes of medication, you find the one that works for you. The first thing you may notice is that you now have choices, that months prior to taking the medication you never thought you had. It raises your tolerance for anxiety and gives you time for doing more of what you love. You have hope and dreams that now don’t seem all that impossible to achieve.
What I’ve yet to find is an easily understandable discussion or article that illuminates what a client who is beginning to feel better should explore while in this new state of awareness.
More specifically, I will address the tools that a client might work towards acquiring, while they are on an antidepressant that is working for them. Because I myself have plateaued on these drugs, and have, over the years taken myself off of them as an experiment to see, if, in the absence of taking them, I can continue to “live free” of the medication. I have learned that the more I have practiced using newly acquired tools while on the medication, there stands a very good chance that I will rely on them more as I get older, rather the antidepressant.
For this blog I will simplify, rather than expand on what each behavioral change can do for a client, by using bullet points. While on an antidepressant a person could:
- Go back to school, or explore another field of interest.
- Change diet
- Start therapy to help focus on goals that seemed impossible before
If one or all of these resonate with you, than this article is dedicated to you. All have proven to increase a persons mood and range of feelings about themselves and the world they live in. If you were never disciplined before, than now is your chance to bring this into your life with a vengeance. More than anything else a disciplined person is one who no longer procrastinates but structures their time well. If you have been depressed most of your life discipline should be explored now that the depression is gone.
Feeling more optimistic should not be taken for granted. You’ve possibly spent more of your life depressed than not, which makes the above points even more important to adopt into your new lifestyle.
The flip-side of taking an antidepressant that relieves the symptoms of depression for a client, is that it can fuel addictions just as it can fuel a structured healthy life. A person can choose not to adopt any of the above tools and continue using a substance that months previous was used to create distance from the very depression that they are now taking a medication for. Addiction, has to be addressed. The alcohol or drugs that seemed necessary for survival now will become more of a problem if there not stopped.
I hope that I have illuminated what could be possible for one who is battling depression and what some of the choices can be, once the decision is made to try a medication.
John Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach Please take a moment and rate this blog by pressing the stars at the top of the blog. Thank You..To receive a new blog follow me.