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People often believe that the genesis of addiction is tied to substances such as alcohol and drugs.
However, any chemical, even those not deemed addictive by the general population, can be misused. Antidepressant addiction is an excellent example of a drug that frequently goes unnoticed as a source of dependence over time.
While antidepressants do not provide a high, they can be abused and induce physical symptoms and an overdose if used excessively.
The individual may become addicted to the substance in the early stages of using it. They may get dependent on the substance if they take it often over time. When the body has become used to the requirement for medicine, it can cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly.
Infinite Recovery is a drug rehab center that treats antidepressant abuse victims. Follow the Infinite Recovery journey, and get back on the mainstream track of life.
How Many People Abuse Antidepressants?
When we examine how many individuals use antidepressants, it is crucial to remember that some of those taking these prescriptions may have been misdiagnosed or are no longer required.
Between 2005 and 2008, the rate of antidepressant usage soared by 400%. However, since depression is a subjective disorder with no physiological test, it can be difficult for clinicians and sometimes for patients to determine whether or not an antidepressant is required.
The symptoms of major depressive disorder are likely to be severe enough that medication is clearly required. Still, medication may be elective or even unneeded. When these drugs are introduced into circumstances where medicine is unnecessary, they might cause problems.
Impaired coordination, increased disorientation, fainting, dizziness, and convulsions are some of the adverse effects of antidepressant misuse.
Taking too much of an antidepressant can potentially result in serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal if undiagnosed or untreated. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the medical treatment when using antidepressants or other drugs that may affect serotonin levels.
Impact Of Antidepressant Abuse On Life
Antidepressant side effects might be bothersome at first, but they usually improve with time. Thus, people develop a tolerance for it and begin taking more antidepressants to get the same impact.
Addiction psychiatry is a different medical field that deals with unique addictions.
You must maintain therapy even if you are experiencing adverse effects, as it will take many weeks before you begin to profit from it. However, with time, you should discover that the benefits of therapy surpass any issues caused by side effects.
Now, let’s take a look at the adverse impacts of antidepressants:
1: SSRI And SNRI Side Effects
The following are common adverse effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs):
- Feeling tense, jittery, or nervous.
- Being ill and feeling sick.
- Stomach pains and indigestion.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- A decrease in appetite.
- Insomnia or drowsiness are symptoms of not sleeping well.
- Libido deficiency.
- Having trouble obtaining an orgasm during sex or masturbation.
- Problems gaining or keeping an erection.
These adverse effects should subside after a few weeks, though some may continue.
2: TCA Side Effects
TCAs commonly cause the following adverse effects:
- Dry tongue.
- Mild blurring of vision.
- Constipation issues.
- Gaining weight.
- Excessive sweating, especially at night.
- Problems with heart rhythm such as palpitations or a rapid pulse.
These adverse effects of antidepressants should subside within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the mediation.
3: Serotonin Syndrome
Serotonin syndrome is a rare but potentially dangerous collection of adverse effects of antidepressant abuse.
Serotonin syndrome develops when the levels of a serotonin substance in your brain become excessively high. It commonly occurs when you combine an SSRI or SNRI with another prescription or substance that elevates serotonin levels, such as another antidepressant.
Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include:
- Muscle twitching due to excitement.
If you have these symptoms, you should stop taking the medication and seek emergency medical attention from your doctor or a specialist.
Elderly adults who use antidepressants may develop a substantial drop in sodium levels, a condition known as hyponatremia. This might result in a buildup of fluid inside the body’s cells, which can be harmful.
This is because SSRIs can inhibit the effects of a hormone that regulates salt and fluid levels in the body. Elderly persons are susceptible because the body’s ability to control fluid levels becomes more difficult as people age
Mild hyponatremia can elicit symptoms comparable to depression or antidepressant side effects, such as:
- Muscular discomfort.
- Low appetite perplexity.
Severe hyponatremia can result in disorientation, agitation, psychosis, and seizures. In extreme circumstances, hyponatremia might lead you to stop breathing or fall into a coma.
Long-term use of antidepressants has been related to an increased risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, while it is unclear if these antidepressants cause diabetes to develop.
The weight gain that some people who take antidepressants undergo may raise their chance of getting type 2 diabetes.
An international team of Finnish, Hungarian, and English researchers conducted a series of nested studies within a prospective cohort of 151,347 working-age men and women, including 9197 participants on antidepressant medication.
As a result, 851 participants developed type 2 diabetes mellitus during a mean follow-up of 4.8 years.
6: Suicidal Thoughts
When people first start taking antidepressants, some have suicidal thoughts and a desire to self-harm. Young people under the age of 25 appear to be particularly vulnerable.
If you develop suicidal or self-harming thoughts while taking antidepressants, contact your doctor or go to an A&E right away.
If you’ve begun taking antidepressants, notify a relative or close friend and urge them to read the patient information booklet that comes with your medication. You should also ask them whether they believe your symptoms are worsening or are concerned about changes in your behavior so that you don’t develop suicidal ideations.
Putting It All Together
Antidepressant side effects may be severe. In addition, when too much of an antidepressant is used or when antidepressants are coupled with alcohol or other substances, it can lead to grave health problems.
Overdose of antidepressants can cause coordination issues, tremors, dizziness, heart rate abnormalities, convulsions, disorientation, and fainting.
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from antidepressant dependency or addiction symptoms, call Infinite Recovery to discuss your concerns and receive treatment.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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