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21 May, 2022
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Are Antidepressants Good For Your Mental Well-Being?

Antidepressants are drugs that can help cure depression, dysthymia, social anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, mild persistent depression, and many cognitive delusions, among other things. This specific therapy tries to address chemical imbalances in the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are thought to be the cause of mood and behavior alterations. Antidepressants were first developed in the 1950s. Nowadays, this kind of therapy has become increasingly common.

An antidepressant’s effects can take weeks or months to produce results so many patients stop taking medicines because they believe they are ineffective. Keeping in touch with your clinician and attending follow-up consultations will help the medicine operate better. 

It’s possible that the dosage needs to be adjusted or that a different medication might be more appropriate. It is critical to follow a antidepressant’s directions, or it will not be that effective. During the initial period, the majority of people will experience no improvements. After 1 or 2 months, the full impact will be seen. Therefore, persistence is essential.

Types of Antidepressants

  • SNRIs: Clinical depression, mood deviation, and potentially, but less frequently, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety symptoms, menopause symptoms, fibromyalgia, and chronic neuropathic irritation are all treated with Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the human brain. It works with two neurotransmitters that play a significant role in mood regulation.
  • SSRIs: The most widely used antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). They have fewer negative effects than other antidepressants and help treat acute depression. SSRIs prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed in the brain. It allows brain cells to transmit and receive messages smoothly, causing healthier and more stable emotions. They’re named “selective” since they appear to influence only serotonin and not other plausible neurotransmitters.

Duration of Antidepressants

After feeling better, those who take medicine should keep taking it for at least 6 months. Those who quit using it before 8 months may experience a recurrence of symptoms of depression. Besides, those who have experienced more than one recurrence should follow treatment for at least another 24 months. Lastly, those who have recurrent bouts of depression may be likely to take the drug for a long time, which should be as per the psychiatrist’s advice.

Symptoms of Depression

The common symptoms of depression are as follows:

    • Suicide thoughts or attempts
    • Increased melancholy and anxiety
    • Feeling agitated or uncomfortable
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression or hostility
  • Nightmares
  • Acting out risky impulses
  • Being hyperactive
  • Hallucinations
  • Various unusual changes in behavior or attitude

Side effects of Antidepressants

Usual side effects of antidepressants are as follows:

    • Nausea
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Fatigue
    • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dry lips
  • Dizziness 

Treatment of Side Effects Caused by Antidepressants 

  • Nausea: Consuming sugarless candy and searching for a slow-release antidepressant may be a great idea. If you take the medication at night, the bout of nausea will be less annoying.
  • Sex Drive: Have intimacy right before taking your antidepressant. It is when the side effects are at their lowest. Other options, such as estrogen cream or erectile dysfunction medicine, may be taken in keeping with your doctor’s advice.   
  • Fatigue: Taking medicinal doses before going to bed is a perfect habit. Also, take a quick nap post having lunch. It will help you mitigate both physical and mental stress.
  • Vision Disorder: Consult your doctor about using special eye drops to keep your eyes moist for as long as possible.
  • Sleeping Issues: Change your timing of antidepressant pills. Take the doses in the morning rather than at bedtime. Also, avoid frequent consumption of tea and coffee, and consult your doctor often about any sleep-aid medications.
  • Constipation: Make it a daily chore to eat fiber supplements or plenty of high-fiber meals. Medically approved stool softeners can also be beneficial.
  • Dry Lips: You may carry water, ice chips, and chew gum as long as you are outside for day-long activities. Instead of breathing via lips, try breathing through your nose, which is deemed to be the proper respiratory activity. Consult your doctor about taking medicine to help you generate more saliva in the mouth.
  • Dizziness: You need to stress slow movement, notably when you have to walk a lot. Also, take your antidepressant pill before going to bed.

Switch Over

You are always welcome to talk to your doctor about switching antidepressants if the adverse effects are too much for you. It’s critical not to stop taking your antidepressant without first consulting your doctor.

Cold turkey quitting might create withdrawal symptoms and exacerbate depression. Your medical specialist will determine which strategy is advisable to avoid withdrawal when you transition. Throughout this process, your psychiatrist will keep a watchful eye on you.

The doctor can adjust your medicine in a variety of ways, including:

  • Conservative Switch: The doctor will systematically reduce your present antidepressant dose until you finish. You won’t take any medicine for a certain period. Next, you’ll begin taking your fresh dosage at full strength.
  • Moderate Switch: The doctor will gradually reduce the dose of your existing antidepressant until it’s no longer effective, and you need not consume any medicine for a certain period. After that, you’ll begin taking the new drug at a moderate dose and gradually increase it.
  • Direct Switch: Your doctor will tell you to stop taking your current antidepressant and begin taking the new antidepressant dosage at full strength the following day.
  • Cross-Taper: The doctor will methodically start reducing the dosage of your existing antidepressant until it’s no longer effective. As your previous antidepressant dose decreases, you’ll start on a modest dose of the new antidepressant. You’ll gradually increase your dose of the new antidepressant while decreasing your dose of the previous antidepressant until you’ve finished taking the first and are on the full impact of the second.

Only the concerned psychiatrist can tell you which method is best for you.

Final Words

Antidepressants can help with a variety of depressive symptoms. However, side effects are frequently a part of the deal. Some of them are a pain to bear with, while some can be handled with rest. They can be significant in rare situations, and the doctor is always available to change the medicine.

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