Antidepressants are a common treatment for depression these days. However, some people are scared to take them. Here are some common fears surrounding antidepressants and truths from those who take them:
- You might worry taking antidepressants won’t actually help you deal with your problems, but just make you forget about them. This could lead to other problems in the future. In reality, they won’t make you forget your problems, but they can give you the brain power to actually deal with them. Being depressed zaps your energy, making seemingly easy tasks impossible to deal with. Antidepressants can help you feel better so you can actually tackle your to-do list or even your issues with your mom in therapy.
- You may fear antidepressants will turn you into a zombie, unable to enjoy anything. Really, if this happens to you, that brand or type is not right for you and you need to tell your doctor right away. There are many different types of antidepressants and if you have any unpleasant side effects, you may need to try a new one. When taken correctly and when you have the right one for your specific brain chemistry, it should not change your personality. It should only help you feel more like yourself again.
- You might fear the side effects of antidepressants, like weight gain. Some types have been known to cause weight gain, while others can cause weight loss. Ask your doctor about the known side effects of the ones they recommend you and tell your doctor your concerns.
- Most people think if you have to start taking antidepressants, you have to take them your whole life. This simply isn’t true and is rarely recommended. Most people take them for six to nine months, until they feel their depression is under control. When you want to stop taking them, ask your doctor how to decrease your dose gradually. Quitting cold turkey can cause some rough side effects.
- You may also worry that taking antidepressants will destroy your sex life. It is a common side effect that antidepressants can lower libido (sex drive) or cause erectile dysfunction. Again, work with your doctor to find the right pill for you. If you find the right one for you, you may be able to have a better sex drive due to higher energy and happiness levels.
- You might simply be afraid you can’t afford them, especially if you do not have insurance. Speak with your doctor on ways to save money. They may even be able to give you free samples at first or work with your insurance company (if you have insurance).
Bottom line is if you are worried you have depression or especially if you have suicidal thoughts, see your doctor right away. You may be able to start therapy or go to rehab for depression, depending on how severe your depression is. Don’t be afraid to take a medication that could save your life and don’t be afraid to talk openly with your doctor to find the right medication for you.
This is a sensitive topic, but do you take antidepressants or have you ever taken them? Do you agree or disagree with any of these? Share your story if you feel called to.