Common Side Effects of Antidepressant Medication: Safer Alternatives to Heal from Depression!
It is far too common today, to hear about a friend or loved one and sometimes even a child who has been prescribed antidepressant medication. But it seems to be quite confusing as to any benefits, finding that the myriad of side effects would and the risks involved surely, make it a questionable medication to take, with moving toward healthier and safer alternatives to depression.
Most Common Side Effects of Antidepressant Medication
One of the most common side effects of Antidepressant Medication research has discovered is that there is an increased risk due to suicidal changes within the human brain. Antidepressant medication has a direct negative effect on the central nervous system and the brain.
Looking at the Term Medication this is used by the Pharmaceutical companies for medicines that are made from Chemical Substances. These substances are classified as “Drugs” where they can no longer be classed as a medicine – With the True Effect and Benefits of Medicine being in Supporting Your Body in Becoming Well.
If you or loved one have been prescribed any of these pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of depression, anxiety or any other mental health problem. Then you will want to read this!
What is an Antidepressant Drug
Antidepressants are a class of psychoactive (psychotropic, or brain-altering) drugs intended to reduce the signs of depression. They were formulated based on a now-proven-false assumption called the chemical imbalance myth, which assumes that chemical imbalances cause mood disorders. In theory it was recommended antidepressants for short-term use only.
A clinical trial review in 2002 defines the “true drug effect” of antidepressants at around 10–20 percent, meaning 80–90 percent of people in antidepressant drug trials responded only to a placebo effect or had no actual response.
Common Antidepressants that are Prescribed include:
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva, Brisdelle)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Vortioxetine (Trintellix)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta, Irenka)
- Reboxetine (Edronax)
- Cyclics (tricyclic or tetracyclic, also referred to as TCAs)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Amoxapine (Asendin)
- Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)
- Doxepin (Silenor, Zonalon, Prudoxin)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil)
- Trimipramine (Surmontil)
- Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
- Rasagiline (Azilect)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar, Emsam)
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Bupropion (Zyban, Aplenzin, Wellbutrin XL)
- Trazadone (Desyrel)
- Brexpiprazole (Rixulti) (antipsychotic used as an adjunctive therapy for major depressive disorder)
What these Drugs Do!
Rather than giving your body what it needs to become well, Medication has the reverse effect, being toxic and harmful following with a list of side effects. When your body becomes unwell for any reason there is an imbalance, so with depression there has become an imbalance within your Mind, Brain and Nervous System.
For you to become well, it is vitally important to address these areas of imbalance with medicines and treatments that are NOT going to cause you any further harm.
It is important for you to come out this other side of this that first the underlying cause or causes are addressed. Secondly, that medicines prescribed are exactly that – Medicines. That are going to support you in becoming well and able to function optimally. Feeling well, being able to rise above your circumstances, no matter what they are.
Why Anti Depressants Don Not Work in Treating Depression
Here is something interesting, even the Medical World will agree that anti-depressants don’t work. What’s even more depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that they DO work. Depression is one of the most common health problems that I come across in clinical practice today.
The people that have come to me for treatment of depression tell me that they have found that the medication that they have been prescribed hasn’t helped with their condition as such in allowing them to feel better. In fact it has robbed them of any feeling at all.
They have realized that this hasn’t been helpful because they are still feeling helpless of overcoming their condition. They come to me because they want to feel again, but want the help with coping with their feelings whilst having medicine that is as individual as what they are and that will help their body to heal
Serious Side Effects Side Effects
As with the majority of surveys a majority of people do not report side effects and often are unaware that their failing health is due to the medication. When taking a look at these side effects it is important that you do not come directly off the medication, but that you gradually wean yourself and whilst doing this incorporate Natural Remedies, Treatments and Self-help strategies to strengthen your emotional and mental health for when you are completely weaned. It is recommended that you do this with the support of a Health Professional.
1. Suicidal Thoughts
The concern it that many antidepressants can cause increased suicidal ideation, also known as suicidal thoughts. Even though this was known as far back as the 1980s, it took decades for the information to be made public. The first time a pharmaceutical company admitted they knew about this increased risk of suicide was in a “Dear Healthcare Professional” letter released in May 2006.
While some sceptics claim this to be simply an impact of depression itself, multiple studies seem to make it clear that SSRIs do have a tendency to increase risk of suicide beyond the mood disorder itself. Further research and evidence has found that after a person has discontinued the discontinuing medication more often than not these thoughts are alleviated.
The FDA added a “black box warning” to antidepressants in 2004, applying to those 18 years old and younger, later upping the age to 24 in 2007. There is some evidence that even healthy adults with no history of mental illness can develop suicidal thoughts after taking an antidepressant, suggesting this warning may need to be extended to people of all ages.
2. Stomach Upset
General digestive problems are extremely common with antidepressants. Some sources find that nausea is the most frequently reported side effect of antidepressants overall. Other known digestive problems that can be caused by antidepressants are vomiting and diarrhea.
3. Headaches and Migraines
It has been found an increase in the frequency of migraines and headaches are one of the well-known side effects of antidepressants.
4. Behavioural and Mood Changes
Researchers have found an increase in feelings of anxiety, distress and panic as being caused or increased by antidepressants. In many cases effecting the person where they are not able to work or enagage in positive ways with other people.
One of the many complaints from people on antidepressants is that they always feel tired, lack motivation and are constantly fatigued.
6. Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual problems like impotence or a lack of libido are also one of the most frequently reported side effects of antidepressants. One source of research mentions a high end of up to 80.3 percent of people on antidepressants who can experience some kind of sexual dysfunction.
7. Extrapyramidal Symptoms (Parkinsonian Side Effects)
While these results are not as common, they are one of the most concerning side effects that are listed. “Extrapyramidal symptoms” means issues with normal movement and verbal function. These are possible side effects with both TCAs and SSRIs.
Extrapyramidal symptoms or Parkinsonian side effects of antidepressants include:
- Tardive dyskinesia: jerky or stiff bodily or facial muscle movements
- Akathisia: restlessness/constant movement
- Myoclonus: sudden and involuntary muscle contractions
- Rabbit syndrome: rhythmic lip or mouth movements that look similar to a rabbit chewing
- Dystonia: involuntary twisting muscle contractions
8. Weight Gain
Weight gain is one of the most reported side effects of anti-depressant medication. With also not being able to lose this weight whilst on the medication.
In Addition the Common Side Effects
The Majority of people on antidepressant medication have reported these side effects.
•increased appetite and weight gain
•loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
• fatigue and drowsiness
• dry mouth
Depression can be caused by a myriad of reasons from inadequate diet to trauma or distressful life events. All this needs to be addressed if you are going to rise above the effects of depression: Your Emotions and Feelings are all connected to your Thinking so by learning how to put your thought processes into a different dimension that is going to allow you to feel better about a situation. This in turn will help with how you are feeling and will supportive of more positive emotional responses that will serve you better.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Antidepressants
It is not recommended that you come off, of antidepressants “Cold Turkey”. In addition to side effects of antidepressants, it is common for people to have major withdrawal symptoms when choosing to come off, of them. It is recommended as previously mentioned that you wean off, if them whilst incorporating natural treatments, remedies and self-help strategies with the support of a Health Care Professional.
Common antidepressant withdrawal symptoms include:
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
- Brain zaps and paresthesia
- Cognitive impairment
- Suicidal thoughts
- Irritability and mood problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Movement disorders
- Mania and/or anxiety
- Anorexia nervosa
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating (diaphoresis)
- Speech changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems with sensory input (like tinnitus)
- Aggressive or impulsive behavior
- Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)
- Drop in blood pressure (hypotension)
- Muscle pain or weakness (myalgia)
As mentioned wean yourself off this medication slowly, whilst implementing alternative support mentioned next.
Natural Treatment: Remedies and Self-Help
There is a great deal of self-help options, natural treatments and support that will help improve your depression by improving your brain and nervous system function. If you become confused engage with a good friend who will support you through the changes as well as a trusted Health Care Professional.
1. Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
This may just sound too Simple, but it will be your diet that will be your Best Friend when it comes to your health. Whole Foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, fresh vegetables, salads and fruit has been found to help heal depression and lower the risk. My suggestion is to begin improving your digestion, gut bacteria by including foods such as sweet potato, kale, spinach, beans, broccoli, fruits such as red apples, pears, berries, yoghurt [preferably dairy free] and drinks such as kombucha, peppermint and chamomile tea.
2. Exercise together with the Food you Eat: The Perfect Medicine
Exercise does not have to be hard work, as simple walk outdoors, going to the park, a swim, mowing the lawn, has been known to outperform any antidepressant medication. Some people whom I have worked with, just begin with 15 – 20 minute walks around the block each day, slowly increasing the time and distance.
3. Engage Help both Professional & with Personal Friends
The counselling support that is most helpful is what is known as cognitive therapy. Learning to understand your core desires, how you want to feel and be. Enabling each day positive actions and changes to support you with a Healthier, Happier Life full of Vitality and Joy.
4. Herbs and Supplements that are known to support Healthy Brain and Nervous Function
There are many supplements that researchers have found may effectively reduce or eliminate depression signs. These include:
- Omega-3s (like in fish oil), Flaxseed oil
- Vitamin D3 (getting out in the sunshine for short bursts)
- B Supplements
- Ginkgo biloba
- Passion flower
- St. John’s wort [not to be taken whilst on antidepressant medication]
5. Inclusion of Pure Essential Oils
Pure essential oils offer a great relief for depression they can be incorporated into your daily routine. Only purchase pure essential oils either from a reputable pharmacy or health shop.
Pure essential oils to support treatment of depression
- Roman chamomile
- Orange oil
6. Enagage with Strong, Positive Supportive Family & Friends
Engaging with toxic people whom are causing harm to themselves and do not live positive or constructive lives will rob you of emotional balance and energy. A common feeling that goes with depression is not wanting to engage with positive people, but this is necessary for to become well. These people do not always tell you what you want to hear, they may need to at times tell you what you need to hear to make positive changes. You do not need a lot of people to engage with just a couple of true and trusted people who believe in your ability to rise above these challenging times.
7. Keep Learning
Achieving a Life of Optimal Health, Balance, Happiness and Vitality is all about learning the positive steps to put into your life each day.
Please note: Do not change your antidepressant prescription schedule without engaging a Professional and Personal support network.