close up of a prescription pill bottleAccording to Henry Emmons in his book The Chemistry of Joy, you should consider taking medications if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe depression that makes it hard to function in daily life or is accompanied by suicidal or self-destructive thoughts
  • Moderate depression that has not improved within three to four weeks of trying natural therapies
  • Mild depression that has not improved within six to eight weeks of trying natural therapies
  • A severe sleep disturbance that does not improve with natural therapies
  • Repeated episodes of depressions, especially if they occur without any particular trigger

Working with medications

As with psychotherapy and integrative therapies, medication should be individualized to your particular condition and physiology. Work with your provider to identify the type of medication that may work for your symptoms, and track the effect of the medication(s) closely. Medications can take weeks or even months to have an impact, and it sometimes takes a long time to find the correct type and dosage. In addition, your medication needs can change with time and circumstance, so it is important to keep paying attention to how you feel and how the medication impacts that.