People have opinions about antidepressants:
Some people see taking them as a sign of weakness, proof that they have failed in some way.
Some people have very high expectations of them, and expect to feel happy whilst on them.
Some people are afraid of them, worrying that they will become addicted and never be free of them.
Whatever your view, they are very helpful for a lot of people.
But what happens when you come off them?
Well unfortunately, what they can't do is help with underlying issues - a low self esteem, for example. Which means when your time on medication ends and things haven't changed, the likelihood of relapse is higher.
Antidepressants are often the first line in treating depression with more than 50 million prescriptions are written for antidepressants every year in the UK
Medication helps level the body’s chemistry but they cannot deal with practical issues like domestic violence, poverty, or bereavement, or other issues like stress, anxiety, relationship issues, low self esteem, childhood abuse, etc.
Medication wont fix life's problems.
This is why counselling and antidepressants make very good bedfellows, because while antidepressants are leveling the mood and enabling you to cope with day to day life, counselling:
Studies show that rates of recovery for depression were better if treated with a combination of counselling and antidepressants.
So if you've been on antidepressants for a while and are worried about coming off them, or you've come off them and found your difficulties re-emerging, counselling will help.
Jane Travis is a qualified and experienced counsellor and clinical supervisor in the Lincoln area. She has been working at Reflections Counselling Lincoln since 2005. She also helps other counsellors and therapists market and grow their private practices at JaneTravis.co.uk.