The Depressing News about Antidepressants
Opiate drug addiction can cause depression and many patients are prescribed antidepressants by psychiatrists. A blind study in 1998, whose findings were reinforced by landmark research in The Journal of the American Medical Association last month, concludes that antidepressant drugs thought to help with depression are not as effective as once thought. More studies being conducted suggest that benefits are often not much more effective than placebos.
Patients on a placebo improved about 75 percent as much as those on drugs. Yoga, relaxation imaging, meditation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other forms of therapy can help combat this debilitating illness.
Most common side effects of antidepressant therapy include sexual problems, drowsiness, sleep difficulties, anxiety, nervousness and nausea. While some side effects may go away after the first few weeks of drug treatment, others can persist and progressively get worse.
In adults over the age of 65, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors pose an additional concern. Studies show that SSRI medications may increase the risk for falls, fractures, and bone loss in older adults. The SSRIs can also cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them abruptly. Once you’ve started taking antidepressants, stopping can be difficult; many people have withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to get off of the medication and may require opiate detox.
If you decide to stop taking antidepressants, it’s essential to taper off slowly. If you stop abruptly, you may experience a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as crying spells, extreme restlessness, depression, anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, and aches and pains. These withdrawal symptoms are known as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome is especially common with Paxil or Zoloft. However, all medications for depression can cause withdrawal symptoms.