Antidepressants are some of the most effective treatments for fighting the symptoms of depression, but many people still have misconceptions about how they work and what they do. From outdated information to confusion between different drugs in the same class, there is a lot of misinformation out there. So let’s examine 9 common myths about antidepressants to better understand their role as part of an overall depression treatment plan.
Antidepressants are addictive.
True: It is possible to become psychologically and physically dependent on antidepressants, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly. This is because antidepressants work by changing brain chemistry to help people manage depression and other mental health issues. However, people who have been taking antidepressants for a long time may develop a tolerance, requiring higher doses of the drug to feel the same effects as before, making them vulnerable to addiction.
Antidepressants make you euphoric.
False: While taking an antidepressant can improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms, it’s not meant to make you overly happy or get you high like some medications can. In fact, many people experience a decrease in pleasure when taking antidepressants, during the adjustment period until their body adjusts to the new drug.
Antidepressants will solve all your problems.
False: Antidepressants are not magic pills that fix everything overnight; sometimes it takes weeks or even months for them to start working properly and having a noticeable effect on a person’s mood and behavior. To really get better, people need a comprehensive treatment that includes therapy, lifestyle changes, and good self-management practices, plus medication if needed.
Antidepressants change your personality.
False: While taking an antidepressant may cause slight changes in behavior or attitude due to the adjustment of neurotransmitter levels in the brain, it does not fundamentally alter the personality or basic identity traits of a person. a person as some might think. Additionally, any changes experienced should be manageable and reversible once the drug has been discontinued or dosage levels changed.
Everyone experiences the side effects of antidepressants.
False: Although the most common side effects of antidepressants are nausea, drowsiness, increased appetite and weight gain, restlessness or nervousness, these effects are by no means universal for everyone who take them as recommended by their doctor. Each patient is different in terms of their reaction to medications. Discussing potential side effects with your doctor before starting treatment can help you prepare for what you might encounter along the way.
The men aren’t depressed and don’t need antidepressants.
False: Depression affects men just as much as women, yet men often do not seek help due to social stigma of mental health issues and cultural beliefs about masculinity that discourage emotional vulnerability. Yet studies show that suicide rates for men are higher than for women (the ratio is 3 to 4). The truth is that anyone, regardless of gender identity, can experience depression at any point in their life, which only heightens the need for awareness of this issue so that more individuals know how. ask for help when needed.
There is only one type of antidepressant.
False: In fact, there are several classes of antidepressants, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), each having a different chemical composition and therefore affecting patients differently depending on individual circumstances or needs. It is therefore important to consult your healthcare professional about these options before choosing a treatment.
Once you start taking antidepressants, you can’t stop.
False: It is possible for patients who have been prescribed an antidepressant by their doctor, after careful evaluation usually based on the patient’s exhibiting symptoms, to stop taking it without facing serious consequences, although that the discontinuation of treatment should always be done under supervision since its side effects, in particular withdrawal, such as headaches, irritability, dizziness, etc. may appear over time. Gradual discontinuation rather than abrupt discontinuation is recommended when changing medication regimens, as abrupt discontinuation could lead to adverse effects.
Antidepressants make you fat.
TRUE. Antidepressants, which can be effective in treating depression and improving quality of life, often come with the side effect of weight gain. Numerous studies have confirmed that users experience significant weight gain when taking certain types of antidepressants, especially if prescribed long term.
The use of tricyclic antidepressants is particularly associated with a high risk of additional weight gain. The Haute Autorité de Santé de France nevertheless recommends this group as a second-line treatment because its members present less cardiovascular risk than the other classes. In any case, all physicians are advised to monitor the effects on patients’ weight before prescribing any type of pharmacological treatment for depression.