Depression is something that many people in the United States suffer from. It is not a disease that is easy to quantify or explain because there are so many forms of it and so many situations that can lead to it.
Anti-depressants are the most popular drug known to counteract the effects of depression. However there are a lot of things that we do not know about anti-depressants. Many believe that they will magically cure depression and unhappiness. The reality is not that clear cut. Here are 39 facts about anti depressants that everyone should be aware of:
1. Fewer than 50% who used anti depressants were symptom free after a year
2. These people even took two different medications at the same time, yet it had no effect upon half of them.
3. Most people who respond well to anti-depressants initially slip back into depression after they stop taking the drugs.
4. Mild or moderate depression can be cured effectively by anti-depressants where there impact is greater than placebo drugs.
5. Depression is caused by too many things at once to be effectively treated by drugs in every case.
6. The brain and emotions are both at work when depression occurs as a result, which makes treatment harder.
7. Depression occurs when serotonin levels are low, or at least that is what many doctors believe.
8. Many anti-depressants are meant to raise serotonin levels, however many admit they are not sure exactly how the drugs work.
9. Some studies show that although anti depressants can increase serotonin levels, it does not actually have any impact upon mood.
10. Treatment of depression can include the use of drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical anti depressants, tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These all have their own types of side effects.
11. SSRI’s have side effects that range from nausea all the way to diarrhea, tremors, and headaches.
12. SSRI’s also increase the likelihood of falls, fractures or bone loss in older adults.
13. The SSRIs cause sexual dysfunction in a majority of patients who take these drugs.
14. Anti depressants are very risky for people who are over 65.
15. Anti depressants pose a risk for pregnant women.
16. Anti depressants are risky for young adults and children as their long term affects are largely unknown.
17. There is also a great suicide risk both while taking anti depressants and immediately after stopping a course.
18. There are withdrawal symptoms when it comes to anti depressants as well. Anxiety, agitation, mood swings, and insomnia are examples.
19. One cannot come off anti depressants immediately. Just like any other drug, they must be tapered of slowly in order to achieve normal mental and emotional states after a course of antidepressants.
20. It is also good to not stop during a period of time of added stress because that will only result in a relapse or further depression than before.
21. Anti-depressants cannot be taken without a doctor’s prescription.
22. Anti-depressants must only be taken along with a regimen comprised of regular doctor trips as well as therapy and other psychiatric help.
23. Sudden increases of dosage can also result in unwanted side effects and potential suicidal thoughts.
24. Many children who are only two years old have been placed on anti-depressants.
25. The anti-depressant Wellbutrin causes extreme anxiety and can even make the taker lose touch with reality.
26. Taking anti-depressants can increase the likelihood of having a stroke by 45% in women.
27. Anti-depressants can cause birth defects when mothers take them during pregnancy.
28. Celexa is an anti depressant used on autistic children who have OCD-like behavior; however, it does not seem to make any difference.
29. Anti depressants work 50% of the time vs. Placebo drugs that work 30% of the time.
30. Paxil is one of the hardest anti-depressants to quit.
31. Anti-depressants can cause extreme anger in some people, and lawsuits have even been filed against anti-depressant companies for the resulting violence.
32. Luvox was being taken by one of the shooters in the Columbine High School shootings.
33. Michael Jackson was taking Zoloft and Paxil when he died. Anti-depressants have been shown to increase the risks to heart disease.
34. 1 in 10 people in America are currently taking an anti-depressant.
The fact of the matter is that there is so much we do not know about anti-depressants. Some people have this image in their minds where they are sad and all of a sudden they take a drug that magically cures them of any problems they had and makes them happy. The truth is the opposite.
Anti depressants may never be effective in the long term, and most of their effects only seem to last while they are being taken. In fact, getting off them could lead to the person being in an even worse state than they were prior to taking the medication. These are all risks that must be weighed before taking the drugs. It does not mean that anti depressants do not have a role, but doctors and physicians must carefully monitor that role before and during the taking of these drugs. Only then will one be safe and healthy in the long term and not be dependent upon a drug for happiness.