Nearly half of people with depression attempted to stop Antidepressant medication relapsing into depression by the end of a year. The clinical trial compared the people who stopped the to those who did not stop medicating. The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study found that quality of life can be measured and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and medication withdrawal were generally worse in patients who discontinued their therapy. The study did find a small number of people were able to successfully stop their Antidepressant without having another depressive episode.
Dr Jonathan Alpert, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Research, who was not involved in the study said that for the first time When people slip into depression the current practice is to continue Antidepressant between four to nine months after remission of their depression.Remission is defined as two months with no signs of major depression such as sadness and a reduced interest or pleasure in life. The study results did provide some insight into the benefits of long-term use of Antidepressant.
Dr Jeffrey Jackson, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin said that in their practice, if the patient has the first episode of depression, and particularly if it was triggered by a life event like the death of a loved one, failed business they try to get patients into remission. After that, they decide on a treatment plan for six months after they achieve remission.