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Doctors Explain Why You Should Watch Out For Antidepressant Treatment

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Doctors Explain Why You Should Watch Out For Antidepressant Treatment

For those struggling to cope with moderate to severe depression, more often than not, medication is a big part of the treatment.

Antidepressants (SSRI pills) are psychiatric medications given to patients with depressive and anxiety disorders in order to help ease symptoms. When they functioning properly SSRIs can correct chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain which are believed to be responsible for changes in mood and behavior.

In short, antidepressants alter your brain chemistry.

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While antidepressants are thought to be safe and effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders when coupled with therapy and/or psychological counseling, researchers and physicians are now aware of the very real and potentially devastating side effects antidepressants can have on patients.

Physical side effects of antidepressants

People taking antidepressants are prone to experiencing some or all of the following physical side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Decrease in sex drive– erectile dysfunction in men and decreased orgasms in women
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred Vision
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Improper bone development in children
  • Improper brain development in children and teens

To combat the effects of these drugs, patients are often prescribed additional drugs to counteract the physical symptoms caused by the antidepressant.

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But the most profound side effects patients are susceptible to experiencing are psychological and emotional.

Psychological and emotional effects of antidepressant medications

Researchers and doctors have found that antidepressant medications can have seriousadverse and potentially fatal effects on patients including:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Violent behavior
  • Increase in depressive episodes
  • Permanent brain damage

Psychologist and researcher, Professor John Read from the University of Liverpool Institute of Psychology, Health and Society has reported that “while the biological side-effects of antidepressants, such as weight gain and nausea, are well documented, the psychological and interpersonal effects have been largely ignored or denied. And They appear to be alarmingly common.”

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Multiple studies, including the one conducted by John Read, have found that feelings of emotional numbness, demotivation, apathy and other personality changes are widespread among antidepressant users. Over half of people aged 18 to 25 participating in the University of Liverpool study reported suicidal feelings and the figure was even higher among children and teens. Even more alarming is the studies found that people who are prescribed these drugs are not being warned about the potential psychological effects.

Antidepressants can cause dependency issues

Antidepressants aren’t addictive in the same way substances like alcohol and heroin are. Those abusing antidepressants do not experience the cravings that other drugs cause and withdrawal symptoms are mild or nonexistent. However, dependence can form especially in people who never needed the drugs in the first place. Some people are incorrectly diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants. According to one study, doctors misdiagnosed almost two-thirds of patients with depression and prescribed unnecessary drugs.

Different types of anti-depressives work on the brain in different ways, which is what increases the addiction potential in some and not others. Genetic and environmental factors may also play a role in the development of a substance abuse or dependency problem. Researchers estimate that genetics are a factor between 40 and 60 percent of the time, making some people more prone than others to developing an addiction or substance abuse disorder, as published by the National Institute on Drug (NID).

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Dependence occurs when the brain begins to rely on the chemical changes initiated by the drug and the body becomes physically dependent on the drug in order to function properly. Dependence can lead to addiction, but not all the time. Someone who is physically dependent on an antidepressant, needs the medication in order to reduce symptoms.

Chronic use of antidepressants promotes dependency on the drugs rather than empowering people to make positive life changes. SSRI medications are often mistakenly referred to as “happy pills,” although they do not produce the same euphoric high or artificial happiness that other drugs do.

Antidepressants have been found to be less effective in treating depression and anxiety as was once believed. Researchers warn doctors and patients alike–when dealing with brain altering drugs– proceed with caution.

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Featured photo credit: Kevin Lee via stocksnap.io

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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