Antidepressant Dependency

Antidepressant dependency may not have the same life-ruining results that come from addiction to street drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and the like. However, anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax, Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when a person stops taking them, and thus the person dependent on antidepressants often needs help to leave them behind.

Antidepressants affect the brain and the messages traveling through it. They were designed to treat those who experience depression, but do not cure it. They relieve the symptoms of depression only. When someone has used them for some time, they seem to have difficulty functioning normally without them. Although many claim that antidepressants are not addictive, it is clear that some become psychologically addicted to them.

A dependence on these drugs can develop quickly. With the brain and the chemical messages to the body affected, a person experiences many changes, physically and mentally. If someone has taken these drugs to alleviate depression and the pills make him feel good and less depressed, there is a strong possibility that he or she will become dependent on the drug to take away those bad feelings.

Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the effects from attempting to stop taking antidepressants include irritability, anxiety, insomnia and even suicidal thoughts. A person can become quite hostile and aggressive. He can become confused. When coming off an antidepressant, the person will feel agitated, and will have a dry mouth, be constipated and perhaps abdominal pain. These very uncomfortable symptoms make just walking off from the drug very hard indeed.

The Effects of Antidepressants

The initial response to antidepressants is one of relaxation and calmness. The person taking a pill may become quite sedated, depending on the strength. The person’s reaction time is slowed and they can become careless or even in a daze. Shortly after taking an antidepressant, the person may feel a headache, nausea or have an upset stomach.

Those who take antidepressants for long periods of time can experience long-term effects. Some of these can include:

>Weight gain
>Migraines
>Loss of libido

Antidepressants have been known to cause psychotic episodes in the user. Some who have never been known to be a violent type have committed violent crimes while taking antidepressants.

Black Box Warnings

When you look at the black box warnings on any antidepressant, you will be able to tell if these drugs are safe or not. The adverse effects are listed and in plain sight. When these drugs are abused, the risks increase many-fold.

Can a Tolerance Develop?

Most drugs have their effects diminish as people build up a tolerance to them. In fact, it is common knowledge that doctors end up increasing dosages as the patient does not experience the same kind of relief he or she had previously. Some doctors just prescribe something stronger. The more tolerance the person has, the more he will crave further dosages.

Treatment for Antidepressant Addiction

When someone can’t stop using antidepressants and needs help, he or she may turn to drug rehab treatment in order to come safely off the drug. There are treatments that are quite effective and can get a person away from the use or abuse of antidepressants and give them their life back.

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