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Depression

Question:

I have been very depressed lately. My family physician diagnosed me with depression. I haven’t been taking my medicine my doctor prescribed for depression for fear it will make me sick or kill me. I don’t want to die. I am just depressed from all the stress some of my family members put me through. I have lost a lot of weight due to a lack of appetite. I have trouble sleeping and my heart races a lot and its been checked with no problems. I have been told by friends that depression can cause your heart to do that and cause you to worry more. Is this true? Thank you so much.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Many people start out feeling afraid of anti depressant medication but soon learn, by taking it, that it is not dangerous. It does not make people sick and does not kill people. There are some people who are medication intolerant and that means that they seem to be allergic to medicine. However, these are people who are sensitive to all medication and not just anti depressants. At the very worst, if you take the anti depressant and it turns out you are sensitive, you simply stop using it. Sometimes all that the doctor needs to do is prescribe another of the many anti depressants.

The fact is that depression and anxiety go together. Anxiety can cause the heart to race. In addition, those who worry a lot are people who are anxious. It is not that depression causes you to worry but that some people tend to worry a lot, whether depressed or not.

If you truly do not want medication then I urge you to enter psychotherapy. In fact, research shows that psychotherapy is just as good as medication. This is especially true if you enter a type of therapy called Cognitive Behavior Therapy. There are licensed psychologists and social workers who are trained in this specific type of treatment.

Why not try it and medication. After all, you have nothing to lose than your depression.

Best of Luck

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