Prescription Assistance Programs

If you’re having trouble making ends meet financially, chances are good that you have considered going without your antidepressant medication, especially if it is costly. Since rent/mortgage, food and utilities have to be paid, everything else becomes a lower priority. The problem is that if your health, physical or mental, suffers because your condition isn’t being treated, your overall situation could worsen. I outlined several possible ways to lower treatment costs in a previous SharePost. Another option, in addition to these suggestions, is to investigate patient assistance programs also referred to as prescription assistance programs. Until a few years ago, when commercials started airing Partnership for Prescription Assistance with Montel Williams, who has Multiple Sclerosis, many people had never heard of these programs.

via Depression – Prescription Medication Assistance Programs.

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Depression – Five Misconceptions About Depression Drugs

We have an uncomfortable relationship with any medication that alters our brain chemistry. Not only are we wary of anything that alters this chemistry (even if it’s out of whack) because we see our brain as the center of our personhood, but we also seem to think that we should be able to somehow fix these imbalances ourselves, either with sheer force or will or alternative methods.

Think about it – is there another group of medications that has so much misinformation or scorn swirling around it? I take medication for hypertension and Multiple Sclerosis as well as antidepressants, and I have never heard anyone say, “You know, just popping a pill for your high blood pressure and Multiple Sclerosis won’t solve all of your problems.”

via Depression – Five Misconceptions About Depression Drugs.

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Why do people resist taking antidepressants?

Over the years, since I started my depression site, I’ve heard (read) many people say that they want to treat their depression “but without antidepressants.” I always think, “Why?” It’s just incomprehensible to me that some people have that knee-jerk reaction to medication.

Oddly enough, I have to include myself in this group. At least initially, I refused to take medication for my depression. Nearly twenty years ago, when I was first diagnosed with depression, I was in a pretty bad way. I had had two major depressive episodes in the past, without knowing what they were, but this third one was the worst, and so far, of the longest duration. By chance I read a book that helped me to recognize that what I was going through, and I promptly made an appointment with a doctor at the mental health clinic attached to the local hospital.

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Antidepressant Side Effects

The other day, I took an impromptu break at work to buy something to drink. “I’m just so dehydrated,” I told my boss. “My blood pressure medication does that to me – maybe yours is having the same effect.”

Aha. That was probably it. Due to my elevated blood pressure, my doctor had strongly suggested I start on medication, which I had done a few days before. I remember from teh last time that I took it that it also can cause moments of dizziness. Yay. I grimaced when the doctor suggested that I start on the medication again, and she said, “The side effects can be unpleasant, but so can your heart enlarging.” Geez, when you put it that way.

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5 Tips for Talking to Your Doctor about Changing Depression Medication

1. Be clear about your reason(s) for wanting to switch antidepressants. Is it that the side effects are intolerable, or is it that you are not satisfied with the response? If you want to switch for the latter reason, you need to determine exactly what you mean and communicate that to your doctor. Did you antidepressant ever work fully? Bear in mind that you need to give the medication up to four weeks before you would definitely be seeing an improvement. Or did it lift your mood to some extent and then plateau? That’s called a partial response. In first case, your doctor will probably be open to your switching to a new antidepressant. If it’s the latter, however, your doctor may want to raise the dose or possibly augment your current antidepressant with another medication.
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Antidepressant Side Effects

The other day, I took an impromptu break at work to buy something to drink. “I’m just so dehydrated,” I told my boss. “My blood pressure medication does that to me – maybe yours is having the same effect.”

Aha. That was probably it. Due to my elevated blood pressure, my doctor had strongly suggested I start on medication, which I had done a few days before. I remember from the last time that I took it that it also can cause moments of dizziness. Yay. I grimaced when the doctor suggested that I start on the medication again, and she said, “The side effects can be unpleasant, but so can your heart enlarging.” Geez, when you put it that way.

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Enhancing Antidepressant Treatment With Folic Acid

A few months ago, my psychiatrist recommended that I take folic acid supplements, as they might boost the effectiveness of my antidepressants. I was surprised to hear his recommendation, as the idea was completely new to me. I had of course taken folic acid when my husband and I were trying to conceive, but didn’t know much about it otherwise.

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