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If you’re suffering from anxiety and depression, you may deal with racing thoughts, trouble sleeping, general sadness, and social withdrawal.
You already see a psychiatrist or therapist, but you’re now considering if medication is right for you. But you’ve read so many horror stories about the side effects, you’re frightened of taking antidepressants.
Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to mental health.
The stigma has caused many people to fear taking medication for depression and anxiety.
However, the truth is that for many, antidepressants have saved a life.
If you feel you could benefit from medication, then we urge you to keep on reading this post.
In it, we’ll discuss the different types of antidepressants, possible side effects, and much more.
How do SSRIs Work?
If you’ve ever thought about taking medication for depression and anxiety, then chances are that you’ve heard of SSRIs.
These medications stand for “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.” And while this certainly sounds like a mouthful, all it really means is that it’s a certain class of antidepressants.
Our brain contains a natural chemical known as serotonin, more commonly known as a “feel-good” chemical. Think of it as the feeling of first falling in love, or even as the natural “high” that many of us get after completing a tough workout.
Serotonin also works to send messages to the brain. People suffering from depression and anxiety often don’t get enough serotonin on their own. SSRIs actually help to stop your brain from absorbing too much of the serotonin, which means that your body will be able to have more of it on hand.
The good news?
SSRIs only impact levels of serotonin in your brain and body. This means that you don’t have to worry about this class of medication getting in the way of the other neurotransmitters in your brain.
In most cases, SSRIs are an excellent choice for those who are suffering from more severe cases of anxiety and depression.
Other Types of Antidepressants
So, you’ve talked to your doctor, and you’ve agreed that SSRIs aren’t the right kind of antidepressants for you.
Don’t panic — you still have lots of safe and effective medication options out there when it comes to treating your anxiety and depression.
You might be a better candidate for what are known as SNRIs, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
They’re somewhat similar to SSRIs, but they additionally work to ensure that your body is making enough norepinephrine. This helps your brain to increase the levels of signals that neurons sed to one another.
You should expect SNRIs, just like SSRIs, to take about four to seven weeks to fully go into effect.
Your doctor may also decide that you’re a good candidate for benzodiazepines. In general, this type of medication is most commonly prescribed for people who experience severe anxiety and panic attacks.
Usually, benzodiazepines are taken in conjunction with other types of antidepressants. You should carefully monitor your dosage and the overall length that you take these medications, however.
They can become addictive in some cases.
You’ll also need to be certain that, if you are taking this type of drug, that you avoid drinking alcohol whenever you’re on it. This can lead to death, or extreme mood swings that have caused many people to behave recklessly.
If you’re concerned about these issues, you may elect to take hydroxyzine.
This has the same effects as benzodiazepines but is much less addictive. However, you may experience a higher level of sedation that you would with other types of drugs.
To learn more about the different types of antidepressants available to you, and the doses they come in, check out this online pharmacy database.
What are Common Antidepressants Side Effects?
Now that you know a little bit more about some of the most popular medications for depression and anxiety, let’s talk about potential side effects.
Above all, you’ll need to make it a point to have a clear conversation with your doctor or psychiatrist before you start taking any of these medications.
You’ll need to let them know about chronic health conditions, other medications that you take, and even your family medical history. Since certain types of antidepressants can have dangerous interactions with other medications, honesty is incredibly important.
When it comes to side effects, you’ll need to be aware that everyone experiences them differently. You may also need to switch up the type and dosage of antidepressants you’re trying out before you find the “magic combination.”
Most people say that they experience a loss of appetite, and the claims of weight gain are often found to be a myth. However, many people do report a lowered sexual libido.
If you notice more severe symptoms, like vomiting and an increase in suicidal thoughts, talk to your doctor at once.
Above all, remember that antidepressants aren’t “happy pills.”
You’ll need to commit to talk therapy and other options in order to continue on your path to mental wellness.
Are You Ready to Get on Antidepressants?
If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from depression and anxiety, remember that you’re not alone.
There is no shame in needing help, and there is certainly nothing wrong with taking antidepressants.
Whether you’re dealing with the side effects of trauma or more chronic depression, you don’t have to continue to suffer. Instead, make the right choice for you and get on medication in addition to talk therapy.
Looking for additional advice about how to improve your quality of life?
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