Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Winter 2022 3 It can be hard to talk to your provider about feeling sad or hopeless. Instead, many people pretend everything is fine. They avoid talking to their provider about symptoms like irritability, eating or sleeping too much (or too little), or feeling worthless or guilty. These can all be symptoms of depression. Depression can be more serious than just “feeling sad” or going through a rough spot in life. When you talk to your provider about your symptoms, your provider may recommend treatment for depression. Treatment can be a mixture of counseling, self-help or lifestyle changes, and/or antidepressant medication. Most people with depression respond well to treatment when they follow their provider’s directions and take their medications as prescribed. Often, providers recommend that people continue taking their antidepressant medication for at least six months. Depression affects your brain, so antidepressants are prescribed to try to balance the chemicals in your brain to ease your depression symptoms. Be patient — sometimes it can take a while to find which medication and dose works for you. Ask your provider about any side effects you need to be aware of. Side effects like sleepiness and weight gain often subside over time. Notify your provider about any side effects that you notice, especially if your depression gets worse. Sometimes people stop their medication early because they feel better. Feeling better means the medication is working. People may stop taking their medication for many reasons. These can include worries about side effects, thinking the medication isn’t working, or a Don’t ignore thoughts or remarks about death or suicide! If you or someone you love is talking about death or suicide and/or is feeling hopeless, find help right away. This may mean going to the nearest emergency department. New Mexico Crisis & Access Line Available 24/7: 1-855-662-7474 Peer to Peer Warm Line Call or text to connect with a peer: 1-855-466-7100 Call: 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Text: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255, or dial 988 I feel better, so why should I keep taking antidepressants? negative stigma. If you stop taking your medication too early, your depression can come back, even worse than it was before. Quitting your antidepressant medication too soon can cause headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes. If you and your provider determine that your depression has been successfully treated, you might work together to wean yourself off your medication safely. Depression can come back. If you’ve had depression before, you may be more likely to get it again. Even when you start feeling better, ongoing therapy and medication treatment can help you stay better. Keep talking to your provider about what you are feeling. Together, you, your provider, and your support network of friends and family will help you get through depression.