Most Dangerous Prescription Drugs – Anti-depressants
Living with depression can be quite challenging. There are millions of people living in a state of chronic depression, and some not knowing where to turn. Others will decide to seek help from their physician or a psychiatrist. Oftentimes they are prescribed antidepressants, as there has been some indication that taking antidepressants can help decrease depressive symptoms.
Anti-depressants are prescribed for other things as well, including anxiety disorders, bipolar depression, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A report in 2011 by the US Centers for Disease Control andPrevention stated that about 11% of Americans were on antidepressant medications. That’s a lot of people.
Dangers of anti-depressants
While the general consensus is that antidepressants are safe and effective, that’s not always the case. As with most medications, there are side effects and for some people, the side effects can be quite dangerous.
Side Effects of Antidepressants
Antidepressants are used as a treatment for depression, but there are dangers of anti-depressants. They are not benign drugs, as they can result in several unpleasant side effects. However, the effects are mild in some and severe in others. The side effects themselves can lead to an increase of the depression problem, thereby defeating the purpose of using them in the first place.
The side effects or dangers of anti-depressants are mainly caused due to its effect on the brain. When external chemicals are used to treat mild or severe depression, especially for a long-term treatment, there are bound to be side effects. The mood of the person taking these drugs is the first thing to be affected.
Some of the common side effects seen are blurred vision, constipation, sedation and improper sleep patterns. The person can also suffer from headaches and nausea. In some people, it is seen that they are unable to achieve erection or orgasm. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are also present in some people taking anti-depressants, while others gain weight. A greater degree of anxiety and agitation is also experienced by some people. Anti-depressants are also occasionally used by a person in an overdose and become a common form of suicide. As you can see, the dangers of anti-depressants range in severity and depend on various factors.
In this case, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are given, as they are considered comparatively safer in case of overdose. However, they also have the danger when taken in combination with other drugs. They can also increase suicidal thoughts and the person might cause harm to himself. Different types of antidepressants have varying side effects, but the common ones are mentioned above.
When considering all the side effects of traditional antidepressants, it is considered safer to go in for alternative treatment for depression. By weighing the risks of antidepressants, along with the benefits gained from them, you can make a decision regarding the kind of medication that would be suitable for you. Many people do respond well to antidepressants, but they are not for everyone who suffers from depression.
Antidepressants and cognitive decline
There are some speculations the antidepressants have the ability to cause cognitive decline in some people. The antidepressants have the effective killing certain neurons in the brain, which can negatively affect cognition. This has been studied in rodents, and what was found was that when the rodents were on antidepressants for a prolonged period of time, their cognitive functions declined some. It was tougher for them to learn new skills. There need to be more studies on humans when it comes to the effects of antidepressants and cognition.
One side effect that seems to be pretty common when taking antidepressants is impaired gastrointestinal functioning. Because of the increase in the amount of serotonin in the intestinal lining, someone may experience abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and indigestion. In one study, up to 23% of people taking anti-depressant admitted to having some of these symptoms in their gut.
Some think that anti-depressants are the only form of treatment for depression, but there are various types of treatment for such. Using medication to treat it should be a physician’s last resort. Of course, there are some people who certainly enjoy a higher quality of life because of antidepressants, but they’re not a cure-all and they’re not for everyone. It’s important to look at other avenues to try to reduce or eliminate depression as well.
Attending counseling can certainly help people reduce depressive symptoms or completely overcome it. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people identify faulty thoughts that may be prompting the negative emotions. This helps them to become able to learn how to gauge their thought life and change those negative thoughts into positive thoughts more consistently, helping them to become happier at a more consistent level.
Talk therapy is something that everyone ought to consider doing at least once in their life. Commit to a series of sessions, perhaps 6 to 8, and see how they feel after those sessions. Getting to the root of the depressive symptoms is important, and you simply can’t do that if you just take a pill and hope that that will carry you. Oftentimes there are some issues underneath the surface that need to be addressed, such as childhood trauma, or some sort of abuse. Getting to the heart of the matter helps many people experience lasting transformation.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is therapeutic treatment between a professional and one or more persons that focuses on the treatment of emotional and mental disorders. Practitioners use techniques to engage a client in communicating issues so that conflicts can be overcome. Professionals may be qualified in various areas, such as psychiatry, counseling psychology, marriage, and family therapy, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, and psychoanalysis.
If you are having emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric disorders, such as clinical depression, it is beneficial to see a psychotherapist and attempt to resolve issues. Some people are afraid to see a therapist due to fear of rejection, pride, an inability to communicate effectively, lack of money, and more. Experts agree that psychotherapy is very helpful in helping people gain insight into conflicts and problems in their lives, thus, giving way to possible solutions.
There are various branches of psychotherapy and professionals tend to specialize in one branch; usually in one that they can relate to well. Here are various types of psychotherapy:
Psychoanalytic- this therapy focuses on a client’s thoughts, dreams, and fantasies. The therapist then draws conclusions of the cause of the conflict and the client and therapist come up with possible solutions.
Behavior Therapy– the focus of this therapy is to change maladaptive patterns of behaviors for better mental and emotional health.
Cognitive– this therapy seeks to identify faulty thoughts and beliefs and change them from negative to positive.
Existential- the client is encouraged to create his/her own values and meanings based on the fact that humans are alone in the world.
Psychodynamic– the aim of this branch is to get to the client’s unconscious thoughts. This type of therapy tends to be briefer than psychoanalysis.
Transpersonal– this therapy includes spiritual understanding along with mental, incorporating mind, body, and spirit in therapy.
Psychotherapy has proven itself to be a great help to people who suffer from mental illness such as depression. It also helps diminish the dangers of anti-depressants, as one can only use them as a last resort. Going to a professional and talking about issues, conflicts, and problems can be a tremendous help and relief for a person. If you are struggling with depression, please consider seeing a professional who will gladly sit down with you and discuss your issues, as the goal for both you and a therapist is that you be your best mentally.
Making a commitment to educate yourself when it comes to depression, and committing to getting on the self-help path to help you become your best self can be helpful. This means reading self-help books, attending seminars or workshops, or perhaps hiring a life coach to help you out. Granted, there are some people who can only get so far on the self-help path, especially if they’re dealing with clinical depression. However, many people have climbed up out of the pits of depression by embarking on a New Journey working on themselves.
Alternative healing methods
Some people turn to alternative healing when they’re battling depression. They may try yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, they may visit a shamanic healer, energy practitioner, pastor, and so on. The alternative healing movement is growing, as many people are experiencing positive results.
Of course, antidepressant medication can help those who are clinically depressed, and not everyone is keen on discussing the dangers of anti-depressants. Though it’s not meant to be a lifetime solution, it can certainly help people who have a chemical imbalance in their brain. Does this mean that if you’ve been on anti-depressant medication for a long time that you’re in serious trouble? No, that is not what this means. But it is worth having a conversation with your doctor about perhaps weaning off of it, as you embark on a journey toward alleviating some depressive symptoms by way of another path.
Some people can become psychologically dependent upon anti-depressant medication, and this is yet another one of the dangers of anti-depressants. In this case, it’s important to reach out for help from a professional in order to address the situation.
There are many clinical studies that have been done when it comes to treatment for depression, and there are plenty that shows positive results for people. You may read about the dangers of anti-depressants, but if you’re really struggling and you’ve tried other avenues to healing, reach out to a professional for help. You’ll be able to create a treatment plan that may be able to help you decrease or eliminate depressive symptoms.