Q. Will medicines help in improving major depressive episodes?

Answered by
Dr. Ruhi Satija
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 28, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jan 30, 2020

Hello doctor,

I Just went to GP today for medication. I had to force myself. Only 30 and suffering major depressive episode. Had it before I feel I left it too long. I have tried some treatment medicines without success. I did not really want Seroquel but I just got 25 mg and 50 mg of pristiq. My depression is that bad I am basically stuck in my room. I know tablets cannot probably get me out of this cause this time it is really bad. If they can give me some boost to then be able to do things that could help. Is that combo possibly effective sometimes they say it might be by adding one. I know they have there nasty side effects though. Would you recommend taking it long term or one month until antidepressant takes effect or what, I am so confused.



Welcome to

I can imagine how hard it is for you to be in this situation. Depression takes a toll on us in the worst ways possible, you should appreciate yourself to be able to reach out to get help, because many people cannot even find the strength or awareness to reach this point. You are correct that only medications will not be able to pull you out from this. However, you need to continue medication atleast for 6-8 months even after you start feeling better because that's the minimum duration required for medication to balance the neurotransmitters involved and to be able to prevent the relapse.

Secondly, I would suggest you to start counseling therapy session. What you can do is start therapy online. Most of my patients who are not yet willing to go out every week and travel to a therapist opt for therapy sessions online. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy will help you with your thoughts and getting a control over the negative thought patterns which are keeping you in the loop of negativity and Depression. Medications when combined with therapy is going to show good and faster results.

Thank you doctor,

I have not stuck to medications it may help I am not sure. I am on pristiq as of today and seroquel. I was asking about the dosage. How long should I take seroquel just like a few weeks until antidepressant takes effect? Can the medicines help with concentration decision making, etc., or will they just make me struggle more than I already am?



Welcome back to

As I said, the medication needs to be continued for atleast 6-8 months minimum, on the same dose. Your symptoms should start improving in 6-8 weeks, but continue the medication to prevent the relapse for atleast a period of 6 months in total. If you feel there is no change even after 2 months of starting the medications, or if you find any sort of side-effects, consider changing the medication.

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