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Important Things To Consider Before Taking Antidepressants

It’s critical to consider the effects that antidepressants can have on your body when trying to decide whether they are right for you. Antidepressants are medications used in the treatment of major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other mood disorders. So, here is what you should consider.

1. If you have an addictive personality

Antidepressants can be addictive to some people, depending on the drug. They are known to cause physical dependence in most people but not addiction, though many report suffering from withdrawal when they cease taking them, which is often mistaken for an addiction. The truth is, antidepressants can’t cause you to become addicted, but it’s possible that other drugs you might take with your antidepressant could lead to dependence or even addiction, so be careful. Getting addictive prescription medication from multiple doctors is also dangerous. Also, when switching medications, always check what interactions exist between medications and don’t mix different kinds of antidepressants unless supervised by medical professionals since they can interact negatively.

2. Don’t take them lightly

It should go without saying that these aren’t something you want to just try out while feeling down. They are powerful substances with serious side effects, including making you feel suicidal. Antidepressants can increase your risk of suicide if you have undiagnosed bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, substance abuse issues or anorexia or any other condition that is treated by antidepressants. 

Be sure to tell your psychiatrist about all the prescription and over the counter medications you’re taking. It’s important to go in prepared because most psychiatrists will stop prescribing them when they find out “why” you need them, which may mean having to redo tests like blood work every time you start a new one (which also defeats the purpose of having an antidepressant).

3. Keep your expectations realistic

They aren’t magic pills, they merely help by treating depression or anxiety. You won’t suddenly feel like it’s great to be alive again after the first pill, you’ll likely go through several before finding one that works for you and if not, add another one on top of it. This is why there is a long list of possible side effects even with antidepressants on the market today because people can have different reactions to them. Also don’t expect your family doctor to know what they are giving you since most doctors don’t specialize in psychiatry and will end up giving you a prescription from a book which may not be correct for your situation.

4. Be careful if you have a family history of substance abuse

It’s not uncommon for people to become dependent on antidepressants, though it is usually because of their addictive nature, not the high. A lot of people end up taking more than what’s prescribed and get into trouble that way. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take them if you have a family history of substance abuse, but be careful about what you’re doing. You may also find they are less effective or have an increased risk of withdrawal symptoms when combined with recreational drugs, so keep in mind that taking too much might lead you to crave something else, which can result in quitting your medicine altogether since nothing is working anymore.

5. Be careful if you are sensitive to medications or drugs

There is a good chance you will be on multiple medications and specialists to help control your depression or anxiety. This many drugs can lead to unpredictable side effects and interactions which could cause serious harm. Always tell doctors what other medication you’re taking and if possible stick with one doctor for this reason since they’ll know what’s going on overall. Also, always keep track of what your family or friends may give you that you might not think of as medicine, such as vitamins because they could interact negatively with the antidepressants as well (and no you won’t get high from them). Be sure to check out information about drug combinations online before trying anything else so if something happens you know how to fix it.

6. Be careful if you smoke cigarettes

It’s important to keep in mind that some antidepressants may even increase your risk of smoking related illnesses such as heart attacks or cancer. If you choose to quit, odds are it will double your chance of having a seizure! Talk with your doctor about the best way for you to quit as they can prescribe some medications that might help but don’t go cold turkey on something like this without talking to them first. This will likely be a long process, so you can’t expect to quit overnight, it will take time.

It’s really significant to go into taking antidepressants with an open mind, they aren’t something you should be afraid of unless you’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. If you follow all these steps and take good care of yourself, you’ll get through it!

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