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Mild Depression: Are Antidepressants Effective?



I have heard that antidepressants do not work in mild depression. Is that true?

Answer by Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, MD.

Antidepressants do not work for everyone. In some people with mild depression, antidepressants seem to have little effect. However, in people with more depression, antidepressants often make a big difference.

Although antidepressants are generally not as effective in mild depression, that does not mean they will never help. Depression affects everyone differently and everyone reacts differently to medications. Finding the right medication may require some trial and error.

If an antidepressant seems to relieve your symptoms, it may be a good choice for you. If you take an antidepressant, do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor.

For many people with mild depression, talk therapy (also called psychotherapy or psychological counseling) seems to be an effective treatment. Some people benefit from a combination of talk therapy and medication. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and regular exercise can also make a difference.

If you have signs and symptoms of depression, do not ignore them. Even mild depression can affect your enjoyment of life, your work or school achievements and your relationships with other people. If you can not be treated, depression can get worse.

Check with your doctor or psychiatrist for the treatment options most likely to get better.

19659010] Release date: 2015-06-10


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