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Mind & Mood

Should you use an antidepressant to get through a difficult time?

July 1, 2020

Before taking pills for a temporary situation, consider the risks.

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You might think that using an antidepressant temporarily could help you weather a challenging time, such as a period of grief, extreme stress, or serious illness. But you shouldn't just jump into taking an antidepressant, cautions Dr. Jane Erb, psychiatric director of the Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"There's no evidence that taking an antidepressant in the short term will help or that it will prevent longer-term consequences of stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder," she says.

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