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When Depression Medication Stops Working

Those who suffer from depression are actually not supposed to remain on their medications indefinitely. Antidepressants are designed to be used only until the symptoms subside, usually measured in a few months. After that time most health care providers will suggest remaining on the medication for another four to six months as a good precaution against a relapse. This has been proven in clinical studies to be of great benefit to the depressive. Patients who remain on the medications for a short time after symptoms are gone have a fifty percent less likelihood of having a relapse in the first thirty six months after a depressive episode. But, this protective shield seems to last only for this three year period. The reasons for this remain unknown.


The problem is what to do about those who suffer from chronic depression. These antidepressants were originally designed with shorter use periods in mind. They are not really supposed to be used for more than a year. With the continuous taking of medication those who suffer from chronic depression can expect relapses regularly. Health care providers counter this by upping the dosages, combining medications or simply changing medications that appear to no longer work. Like with many medications a person's body builds up a tolerance and the old medication becomes useless. Or the medication will still be useful but only in keeping the person in the same state. They don't get worse, but they don't feel better either. This requires action but at this point many health care providers find they are unsure of a next step.


Physicians and researchers alike do not understand why the brain goes from working fine to being imbalanced. Some theories include the brain aging, yet this makes little sense when you talk about a depressive in their late twenties who has already been fighting depression for ten years. Their brain cannot be aging that fast. Yet, somehow the brains of those who sufferer from depression do something differently that cause this very serious condition to take over their lives.


Various other therapies are available to use, but many depressives are reluctant to submit to electromagnetic therapies, shock therapies or even light therapies. The vagus nerve pacemaker makes people nervous because they are reluctant to use something that must be implanted under their skin. Some people cannot use any of these alternatives because of other medical conditions that they suffer from. The question remains what can do done for those who suffer long term depression issues. If mediations eventually stop working and therapy can go only so far how will these people be helped to live normal lives. Researchers are still trying to identify the differences and what triggers them. But the answers are coming very slowly. No longer is research on rats enough as they begin to find ways to compare the brains of depressives with those who are not. This is where they hope to find their answers and then find ways to alleviate the symptoms permanently.
 

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