Depression and 'feeling depressed'
The charity set out to inform about neuro-psychiatric adverse reactions (ADRs) these may be depression, agitation, insomnia, memory loss and many others. Some doctors do not recognise the drug they prescribed has led to an ADR and may go on to suggest antidepressants. As the depression or other ADR may resolve with a change of the original treatment this should be the first step - to check this out as a first task.
However we are often asked to by people who may feel depressed or anxious "is it safe to take antidepressants (SSRI and similar drugs)?"
Our philosophy and tips to help with feeling low or feeling of loss or bereavement, due to death of a loved one or a friend, divorce, break-up of relationship, unhappiness in a job, or loss of job, or a multitude of life events * click here *
Read at the link above, our philosophy and tips for dealing with such events from our founder Millie Kieve who has coped with many of the above situations, drug free. Also information and advice compiled by our trustee Ramo who suffered seizures due to Prozac.
Not convinced? then read on:
We know that some people feel as a 'last resort' they will take antidepressants. Some people have been helped but even they have reservations. Some of those may not have tried yet to come off the drugs (if you are one of these please email us and we will send you Professor David Healy's withdrawal protocol).
Please note that some of us lack the enzymes to metabolise certain chemicals. This can result in slow dispersal leading to high levels of the drug in our body, so early warning signs of ADRs should not be treated lightly, ie headache, agitation, a rash, change of personality, high feelings are all possible serious ADRs.
Some people may have no problem coming off the SSRI or SNRI or similar drug but there is no research available to discern the extent of help or ease of coming off, compared with those who find they can never come off due to severe withdrawal effects.
These are some of the lighter comments we have heard from people who took antidepressants. More detailed and some shocking reports from users will be publised soon.
" I feel they have dulled my emotions"
"I did not realise until I stopped that I was in a cloud for months, it is as if I have come out of a tunnel into the light"
" I had difficulty with sleep and the doctor gave me sleeping pills"
" No one spoke to me about life-style or warned me that alcohol causes depression"
Apart from the above comments we have been told about suicides, sucidal actions, self harming, sexual problems, and dreadful withdrawal reactions by many people.
See comments on Dr David Healy's blog http://davidhealy.org/a-symbolta-of-sorts/
Varied causes of depression, mood swings or anxiety should be considered as follows:
Depression may be and adverse reaction to medicine, anaesthetic or food
Dr Briffa included food causes in his recent blog
Anaesthetics and the drugs used pre and post surgery may cause depression
Many medicines for physical problems as well as psychological problems can cause depression.
WARNING - It can be dangerous to stop taking some medication suddenly. Anti-depressants benzodiazepines and corticosteroids must be tapered off very gradually. Other drugs too - so always go back to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet that is provided with your medication. Keep for reference.
IF YOU ARE WORRIED THAT THE MEDICATION IS HAVING AN ADVERSE EFFECT physically, or having an effect on the way you are thinking or behaving, IMMEDIATELY SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL HELP.