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Anti-depressant drugs can be one way to deal with depression. One issue with anti-depressants is that there is not one anti-depressant that is effective for everyone. While many may find relief with the first anti-depressant, others need to ‘shop around’ for the right anti-depressant, and still others don’t find one that works for them. Add to this the delay – a number of weeks – between when anti-depressant therapy begins, and when you can tell if it effective, and the process can rather frustrating.

In the future this delay may be minimized. One article on psychcentral describes how brain waves were measured in a study to detect individuals responses to a couple of anti-depressants, with 74% accuracy, much higher than other methods. A recent article in the journal psychophamacology reports that fMRI – a technique using magnetic fields to examine which parts of the brain are active – can be used to predict how likely people with anxiety disorders are to respond to anti-depressants (anxiety disorders and depression are linked, so it’s thought fMRI could be used in a similar way with depression).

If such technologies became widespread it would make finding the right anti-depressant easier. But for now, we have to taking it one day at a time, making sure we have a healthy lifestyle and diet. And as always, it’s good to be supported, to have someone to go when you really need to.

September 2020