01-03 Coping with common side effects of depression treatment

Posted in Depression, Depression Treatment, Mental Illness

Coping with common side effects of depression treatment

Going through a mental illness treatment is full of challenges and depression is no different. Depression is one of the most common mental problems in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2015 more than 16 million American adults had suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the previous year.

Depression is often treated by antidepressants and therapies. But there may be some side effects of the medications. Some common problems, such as dry mouth, freaky dreams, dizziness and diarrhea, usually don’t stay too long. However, there are other issues, such as low sexual desire, weight gain and sleepiness, that may last longer.

Experts feel that one should undergo therapies like talk therapy or group therapy, along with the medications, to get rid of depression. So it is important to know the side effects of antidepressants while undergoing treatment for depression. Here are some common side effects involving antidepressants:

Antidepressants and sex-related issues: Sex-related problems are among the most common long-term antidepressant side effects. Antidepressants may diminish sexual desires and/or decrease the power to have sex. While having less sexual affinity is surely possible, all depressed people may not face this problem for long. For some, low sexual desire usually stays for a moderate period. However, one should not stop using the antidepressants without consulting his/her doctor. Abrupt discontinuation of medications may lead to serious withdrawal-like symptoms which can be risky sometimes.

Problems related to weight gain or loss: Although not supported well enough by scientific evidence, many people have complained about weight gain after taking antidepressants. Some, on the other hand, have experienced weight loss. While doctors are not sure whether antidepressants really make people gain or lose weight, some of the medications may have such side effects. Experts feel that weight gain can be a result of some other factors, such as behaviors related with food consumption. Some medications, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), that work with serotonin and dopamine chemicals in the brain, usually lead to weight gain less than the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil).

Suicidal thoughts: Some studies show that use of antidepressants may double the risk of suicidal thinking. This may be the reason behind the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordering manufacturers of antidepressants to post suicidal warnings on their package inserts. The notes provided by the manufacturers read that children, adolescents and young adults with major depression may have suicidal thoughts and behavior, especially in the first month of treatment. Doctors feel that young people undergoing treatment for depression must be monitored properly to avert the risk. Older adults, however, do not have any suicidal risks. It has been found that for people aged 65 years and above, antidepressants usually lower the risk of suicides. Suicidal tendency is a serious side effect and it should attract the doctor’s attention at the earliest. Practitioners say that one should share such thoughts and not try to contain them personally.

Sleepiness: Some antidepressants may make people sleepy. It is good for those who have sleep problems, like insomnia, due to their mental issues. However, there are some medications that offer a feeling of increased energy and patients usually feel more active after using them. Some drugs, such as mirtazapine (Remeron), can result in weight gain and sleepiness.

Getting treated for depression

Although antidepressants have some side effects, they are usually effective medicines for depression. Remember that depression is curable. Its treatment is simple and effective under an expert supervision.

If you or your loved one is grappling with depression, the Depression Treatment Centers of California can help. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 678-0400 and seek risk-free depression treatment in one of the best rehab centers in California. Alternatively, you can also chat online with our representative to locate a dependable depression treatment center in California.


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