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Is My Antidepressant Working?

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If you’ve been taking an antidepressant for one or more weeks, you may be wondering if it’s working. Use the questions below to help you assess changes in your symptoms.

Remember that antidepressants don’t work immediately. If they are going to help, you should notice some improvement in the first week or two but it can take a full 8 weeks to see maximum benefits.

To gauge effectiveness, it’s important to give the medication a fair trial—four to eight weeks at a full therapeutic dose (the maximum dose you can tolerate)—before giving up and trying something else (for example, a different medication or an alternative treatment such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS).

This quiz is designed to help you see if you are getting better (small changes like sleeping better are signs of success) even if you don’t feel much better.

For the following questions, mark whether the symptom is better, about the same (or not applicable), or worse since starting your antidepressant:



Space Cell BetterThe Same or not applicableWorse
Feeling I’m a failure
Feeling I should be punished
Wishing to be dead
Wanting to hurt myself
Wanting to kill myself
Lack of interest
Lack of motivation
Feeling depressed
Trouble making decisions
Can’t get things done
Appetite disturbance (increased or decreased)
Worry or Anxiety
Loss of interest in sex
Sleep disturbance
Feeling slowed
Feeling agitated
Physical symptoms (achiness, pain)
Worries about your physical health
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