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"Which anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication would be right for me?"
I am a 20 year old college student who has been experiencing depression, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior for the past year. The depression has gotten a bit better, but the OCD and social anxiety have only gotten worse. I currently see a therapist once a week and am open to any treatment options. I'm concerned about gaining weight as a side effect. I am not taking any other medications and am in overall excellent health physically. There is a history of depression in my family.
Depression is a common disease. This requires evaluation by your primary care doctor. He or she may also see fit to refer you to a psychiatrist ( a specialist in mood disorders).
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Before any treatment should be initiated, an appropriate diagnosis needs to be made. Depression, or a major depressive disorder, is a clinical diagnosis. Technically, you require the feeling of depression or sadness as well as at least four of the follow symptoms: sleep changes, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, loss of energy, decreased concentration, change in appetite, physical changes, and suicidal or homicidal thoughts. IF YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS OF HURTING YOURSELF OR OTHERS YOU SHOULD GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR EMERGENCY ROOM. Another diagnosis to consider is bipolar disorder -- where people have depression as above, but also episodes of mania -- where people are distractable, feeling "high", irritable, fast talking, take on large projects, etc. This is important as treatments for the two differ. Depression itself can be treated with many different drugs. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors have the best data-- these include prozac, zoloft, celexa. Your doctor can select the best for you based on other medical problems and life history. If you have bipolar, these medicines alone can be harmful. I would recommend you see your doctor or a psychiatrist.
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