Many people, whose profession has nothing to do with medicine or pharmacology, know little about antidepressants or have a very tentative understanding of such drugs. When prescribing such drugs, many questions and concerns arise before a person.
Can antidepressants be addictive? How effective are these drugs? Are they capable of changing a person’s personality? Does it improve your mood? This article will provide answers to these and other popular questions about these medicines, which can be prescribed by doctors of various specialties.
Indications for prescribing antidepressants
Antidepressants are prescribed for patients who cannot cope with symptoms of anxiety, melancholy, apathy, and depression on their own. The main indication for the use of such drugs is depression. These drugs can be used to prevent and treat panic attacks , bulimia , anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, bipolar personality disorders, sleep disorders, etc.
How do antidepressants work?
Antidepressants can increase levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that affect a person’s mood. In addition, they slow down their decay.
There are several types of these drugs. Depending on the clinical case, the doctor may prescribe an appointment:
antidepressants-stimulants – such drugs stimulate the psyche in case of lethargy or apathy;
antidepressants-sedatives – such drugs help to eliminate anxiety or panic, have a sedative effect;
antidepressants of balanced action – the effect of these funds depends on the daily dosage of the drug.
Why do so many people think it’s embarrassing to get treatment for depression?
Unfortunately, many have a stereotype that has been established for more than a dozen years – it is a shame to seek help from a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist. This fact, in the opinion of such people, means the recognition of their own mental disability. However, depression is not a sign of the level of intelligence, such a patient will not be registered in a neuropsychiatric dispensary and no one will report his illness to work. In addition, it should be noted that not in all cases a person with depression can independently get out of this state. This ailment can affect the patient’s life in the most negative way:
- working capacity decreases;
- relationships with loved ones and people around them deteriorate;
- sleep disturbances;
- life goals are lost;
- sometimes depression leads to suicidal attempts.
Turning to a specialist in such cases radically changes the course of events. Correctly prescribed treatment relieves the patient of painful symptoms. The plan for such therapy includes taking antidepressants. And in severe depression, in addition to taking such medications, the patient may be recommended to be monitored in a crisis center.
Is it possible to do without taking antidepressants?
Antidepressants are rarely prescribed for mild cases of depression because the side effects may outweigh the benefits. In addition, in such clinical cases, treatment may include psychotherapy and lifestyle changes.
Such medicines can only be prescribed by a doctor who takes into account all the pros and cons. Usually, such drugs are included in the treatment plan when the psychotherapeutic methods used do not give the desired result and the patient cannot get rid of the depression.
Is taking antidepressants very harmful?
Antidepressants belong to the group of potent drugs, and this fact means that their use, if used incorrectly, can lead to dangerous consequences. Their harm to the body is determined by the type of drug and its dosage.
Common negative side effects of antidepressants include the following:
- insomnia ;
- sensory disorders;
- sexual dysfunction;
- deterioration in cognitive abilities;
- lethargy, etc.
After a long course of taking such drugs, drug withdrawal should be carried out gradually. With an abrupt cessation of admission, a person may experience a withdrawal syndrome.
Are antidepressants addictive?
Taking antidepressants is not addictive even when such drugs are prescribed for 1-2 years. After stopping the admission, the patient may experience a withdrawal syndrome, which will make itself felt for 2-4 weeks. It is during this period that all components of the drug will be excreted from the body. The development of dependence on antidepressant use is a myth. This fact is confirmed by both doctors and the patients themselves who take such medications.
Often, people who are prescribed a course of treatment with such drugs are afraid not only of the emergence of addiction, but also fear that their character will change. Experts completely refute the possibility of such a consequence. Taking antidepressants can affect concentration, memory and activity. However, the characteristic of a person’s personality does not change when they are taken. With the development of depression, a person should think about something else – it is the condition itself that can have a negative effect on character, and not drugs for its treatment.
Can you get antidepressants without a prescription?
As mentioned above, only a doctor should choose an antidepressant drug for treatment and calculate its dose and duration of administration. Self-medication with such drugs can worsen the course of depression or other mental disorders. The patient must understand that each person has their own antidepressant threshold, and if the chosen drug does not reach it, then the medication will be in vain. This is why antidepressants are only sold by prescription in pharmacies.
The answers to the most popular questions about antidepressants help to understand that the use of such drugs is indicated only in specific clinical cases. When properly prescribed, they are beneficial, and self-medication with such means can be either useless or harm health. Antidepressants are always selected individually by the doctor, and only a specialist can determine the drug and its dose that will help the patient get rid of depression or other disorders.