Medical Q&As

Anti-depressants

I have been on anti-depressants for approximately 9 years, with short breaks of being drug free. I still get very depressed and am seeking advice on what to do. I don't want to take pills all my life but when I come off my pills I get worse.

Your query underlies the fact that depression can be a recurring problem for many people sometimes extending over many years. Medication can radically improve the situation for many people but sometimes medication is not taken for a sufficiently long period of time. Experience has taught us that antidepressant medication needs to be taken for at least six months. Shorter course are associated with a high relapse rate. I would also suggest that you discuss with your GP the possibility of attending a psychologist with an expertise in cognitive therapy. This relatively new form of treatment is most helpful in reducing the relapse rate.