Q. I had clinical depression and now normal on medication. How long should I take medication?

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 22, 2019 and last reviewed on: Nov 25, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 24-year-old male. I am a dental student, and I suffered from clinical depression five years ago. I consulted a psychiatrist, and since then I was on antidepressant Sertraline, antipsychotic Aripiprazole, and Divalproex. Three years after the treatment when the symptoms subsided, the medication was reduced to only Divalproex, but due to some stress, Aripiprazole was started again. Then after some time again due to stress I lost my confidence and started feeling social phobia so Escitalopram was started. The reason I think behind this depression is my academic failure and bullying I suffered during my childhood.

I feel normal on taking medications. But my query is that how long I have to take these medicines? Will it terminate and what can I do other than medications to overcome this situation?



Welcome to

It is good to know that you are able to function well at present and medication has been helpful. I note that you are currently on Escitalopram, Aripiprazole, and Divalproex. You have reported suffering from clinical depression, stress, and social phobia. Since you experienced some sort of relapse when Aripiprazole and Sertraline were stopped, it is advisable to continue the current regimen. Check with your psychiatrist about the exact diagnosis as in some types of affective disorder, mood stabilizer may need to be continued for a longer period (duration depends on individual circumstances, nature of depression, associated symptoms like mood instability, thought, and perceptual disturbances, etc.). Patients need to be on medication for at least some years to minimize chances of relapse.

You can try CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or psychological therapy to help you manage your condition better and prevent relapse. Also, learn stress management techniques. You can try yoga, regular exercise, and develop good social relationships, etc. Have regular follow-ups with your psychiatrist.

I hope this helps.

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