Antidepressants Don’t Work?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Ive been on wellbutrin xl 300mg for a month now with no change in behavior or side effects what so ever. The same thing happend in the past with Prozac 20mg. I feel as though I am hopless and when I see my therapist next month he will only try another antidepresant on me… Is there any antidepressant that work the same day you take it? I might mention it to my Docter since neither SSRI’s nor NRI’s have given me any results.

A. I am sorry that you are not getting the results you would like. It can be very frustrating. Some individuals report feeling an immediate improvement after taking an antidepressant medication but experiences vary tremendously. Medications work differently for each person. If two individuals diagnosed with depression took the same medication and the same dose, for identical periods of time, they could have very different outcomes. It is entirely possible that one would report significant relief and the other none at all. Unfortunately, that is the nature of antidepressant medication treatment.

I would suggest that you report your findings to your doctor. He or she may need to adjust the dose of your medicine, add an additional medication or switch to a new drug. When it comes to finding the right antidepressant medication it is important to be patient. Patience is key. The reality of antidepressant medication treatment is that it can take weeks or months before symptoms improve. Don’t give up and realize that it takes time. Try to adjust your mindset accordingly.

In the meantime, consider psychotherapy in addition to medication. Studies consistently show that individuals gain the most benefit when medication is combined with psychotherapy. I would highly recommend it. The find help tab at the top of the page can help you locate a therapist in your community. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Antidepressants Don’t Work?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/19/antidepressants-dont-work/