Signs You Should Consider Taking Medication For Depression

Feeling a little blue every now and again is a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you've gone through a breakup, been fired from a job, disappointed your friends or family, or even had a stranger say some not-so-nice things to you, chances are that you've experienced a bit of sadness. But where exactly does sadness turn into full-blown depression? And when is depression serious enough to consider taking medication?

According to Mayo Clinic, depression is more than just feeling a bit sad or down for a day or two. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a number of symptoms, including exhaustion, loss of interest, loss of motivation, and patterns of sleep disruptions. A person experiencing depression can feel a significant difference in the way they think, feel and act. Contrary to popular belief, being depressed isn't only about feeling sad or a bit down. It can look like anger, withdrawal, or risk-taking behavior. A depressive episode can span several days or weeks (via WebMD).

Symptoms of depression

Depression can be a debilitating illness, robbing an individual of the ability to engage in daily life activities with enthusiasm or interest (via WebMD). Some of the traditional signs of depression include prolonged feelings of disinterest in activities or events that previously provided enjoyment, irritability, sleep disturbances, feelings of worthlessness, and even suicidal thoughts. Depression can occur once in an individual's life or recur, with multiple incidents across a longer period of time (via Mayo Clinic).

Treatment for depression symptoms can include therapy, group therapy, holistic remedies, and medication. Some approaches to treating depression include establishing and keeping routines and schedules, exercising, and avoiding alcohol or drug use (via WebMD). However, for individuals suffering from severe cases of depression, these suggestions may not be enough. How do you know when it's time to consider medication for your depression symptoms?

When you should consider medication

If you're trying to determine whether or not adding a medication regime is the best option for you, there are a few things to consider. If your depression or depressive symptoms are intense enough to cause significant disruptions in your work or social life, it may be time to consult with your physician about taking an antidepressant (via HuffPost). Antidepressants are medications that help to balance and regulate the neurotransmitters thought to be responsible for depression (via Cleveland Clinic). 

Though it is important to note that not all antidepressants are effective for every individual, there are a number of options available. If you're experiencing symptoms of depression, it's always best to reach out to your physician. If your depression feels as though it has become unmanageable or if you're missing work or social events because your case of the blues is lasting longer than it should, talk to your doctor. They can review your options and help you choose a medication — or another treatment — that's right for you.