As we see it, depression is usually characterized by low energy, low self-esteem, changes in sleep, appetite, and sexual interest, and decreased interest in usually enjoyable activities. Increased irritability or loss of patience is in our view, also common. We think the good news is that in 2011 studies have shown and it is our experience that depression can usually be very effectively treated.
We think talking about troubles can be very helpful, and so can modern medications. In our experience, Wellbutrin SR, for instance, improves mood, energy, and motivation without adversely affecting weight and sexual response. For people who worry, Effexor XR, Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, or Prozac has been known to significantly allay that tendency. Of these medications, Effexor XR, Celexa, and Lexapro are, in our experience, the least likely to cause weight gain and decreased sexual function or have interactions with other medications. For people with a family or personal history of alcoholism, nefazodone has been known to relieve depression, anxiety, pain, and insomnia while not causing weight gain or sexual dysfunction. It can do that for folks without an alcohol history too, but seems especially well-suited for those who do have alcohol in their past. Sometimes these or other medications can be prescribed in combination with one another to obtain just the right result for a given person who has not yet obtained relief from a single medication. Adding Abilify or Geodon has been shown to sometimes be extremely helpful. We have also observed that some people respond best to a monoamine oxidase inhibitor like Parnate, while others seem to benefit most from mood stabilizing medications like Lamictal or lithium.
We encourage you to talk with your nurse or doctor about treatment of your symptoms of depression. In our experience, depression often develops into a serious illness, frequently with a plethora of both emotional and physical symptoms, when left untreated.