Antidepressants: More Bad News

I'm not an anti-pharmaceutical person, but we need to know the risks of antidepressants. Someday, I hope people will be able to look back upon the psychotropic drugs of today as we do the Dark Ages. But for now, we have to consider some really negative things about these meds. We already know that the drug companies have been very manipulative. They have affected researchers and doctors in scandalous ways, and some very noteworthy examples have made it into the press and led to serious fines as well. We also already know about many potential side effects of antidepressants, such as weight gain, sexual problems, apathy, and rebound reactions when trying to get off of them.

But there has not been enough attention to quality of life, according to this article. New research is beginning to uncover an unexplored downside that affects many people.

The abstract gives these results (formatted with line breaks for readability). Note how high the percentages are. More research is needed on this to better understand the degree of impairment being experienced. Patients need to be educated to watch for these effects and as to what to do. Much more effort needs to be put into helping people find alternatives to try before using antidepressants. Many causes of depression symptoms need non-drug treatments or life changes. I'm not a doctor, but I have heard many people discuss the value of supplements such as rhodiola and bacopa.

Results:

Eight of the 20 adverse effects studied were reported by over half the participants; most frequently

Sexual Difficulties (62%) and
Feeling Emotionally Numb (60%).

Percentages for other effects included:

Feeling Not Like Myself – 52%,
Reduction In Positive Feelings – 42%,
Caring Less About Others – 39%,
Suicidality – 39% and
Withdrawal Effects – 55%.

Total Adverse Effect scores were related to younger age, lower education and income, and type of antidepressant, but not to level of depression prior to taking antidepressants.


An article on the research from Science Daily:

Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought

The abstract in Psychiatry Research:

Adverse emotional and interpersonal effects reported by 1829 New Zealanders while taking antidepressants.
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