WHICH ANTIDEPRESSANT IS BEST FOR ME
You are diagnosed with depression and your doctor is suggesting medication, now what? The decision to take antidepressants may seem simple ... you take them and they make you feel better, right? Not necessarily. There is so much more you need to consider before taking that first pill. Antidepressants have helped many people get back on the road to recovery, but they aren’t always the perfect solution.
Antidepressant drugs are touted to help reduce the extreme sadness, hopelessness, and lack of interest in life that are typical in people with depression. But if antidepressants work at all it is by numbing out the patient to the pain they are experiencing. I can look into people’s eyes and tell if they are taking the drugs. I can see that they are in a pharmaceutical coma and not able to really experience life to the fullest.
These drugs have become the modern day equivalent of snake oil and are used to treat conditions, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome, chronic pain, eating disorders, and bed-wetting. Some of the side effects that can be caused by antidepressants include dry mouth, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, headache, sexual problems, unable to sit still, fatigue, runny stools, diarrhea, blurred vision, constipation, difficulty urinating, and impaired thinking. The side effect that is the most potentially deadly for a depressed person is “suicidal ideations” (thoughts of and making plans to kill yourself). Side effects can be as bad, if not worse, than the depression that the medication is intended to treat. Long-term side effects of antidepressant medications are unknown.
In rare cases the use of an antidepressant may be the right choice. But the patient must understand that the pill will not cure them. It is merely covering up the symptoms. A better approach would be counseling because antidepressants have a unique way of controlling your life. You fear that without them you will be worse off. My doctor had so thoroughly convinced me that I was sick and that I would have to take these drugs forever that my life centered on my doctor visits and getting my prescriptions refilled.
Depression is a serious issue. It darkens vision and distorts thinking while draining joy and pleasure from life. When depression interferes with your work, play, and relationships, it’s time to take action. The decision of how to treat depression should be made carefully and will be different for different people, but personal action is the key to recovery.
Deciding to take antidepressants is a major decision. If your doctor suggests that you take an antidepressant, make sure you have all of the facts and weigh the possible benefits against the side effects. I am not suggesting that you avoid medication but my hope is that you will ask questions and get informed so that you can stay safe.
About the Author: Jeffrey Wilson is a survivor of 23 years of psychiatric drug treatment, a former executive in the pharmaceutical industry and the author of Irrational Medicine: The Antidepressant Crisis and How To Avoid Unnecessary Behavioral Drugs. He is a recognized expert in overcoming depression and is passionate about each person's ability to recover and create a life full of joy and meaning. For more information please visit www.irrationalmedicine.com