Depression and the use of antidepressants are topics that appear frequently in the media these days. In addition to therapeutic techniques, the use of antidepressants is one of the most commonly used methods in addressing and treating depression. Research shows that antidepressants are an effective way to treat depression for several types of depression. However, it has also been found that about 30% of users have difficulty stopping antidepressants. This can cause people, even when they are no longer suffering from depression, to continue taking the antidepressants years after they were first prescribed them.
There are several different types of antidepressants. Primarily Seroxat has often been found to be linked an antidepressant addiction. Unlike other forms of addiction, antidepressant addiction does not require you to use more and more to achieve the same effect. After you take your antidepressants for a certain amount of time, the effect remains stable. What is similar to other forms of addiction, however, is the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms the moment you stop taking antidepressants after an antidepressant addiction.
What are antidepressants?
As mentioned earlier, antidepressant medications are prescribed to treat depression, but they can also be prescribed for anxiety disorder and panic problems. About half of the people who take antidepressants are actually helped by them. In general, it takes two weeks for the antidepressants to take effect. However, it can also be slower and you may need to take them for 6 weeks before the medication is fully effective.
In addition, the effect of antidepressants is not the same for every form of depression. Research shows that antidepressants actually work in severe forms of depression. In contrast, in mild forms of depression, the results of antidepressants are controversial. Therefore, in mild forms of depression, professionals generally recommend seeking psychological help rather than taking antidepressants.
However, taking antidepressants also has side effects. These may vary from person to person or may not even be of concern. It is difficult to predict what side effects will occur when taking antidepressants. In addition, you may also suffer from the side effects throughout the use of the antidepressants.
Are antidepressants addictive?
The physical antidepressant addiction
Physically, antidepressants are not addictive. That is, antidepressants do not contain any substances that trigger addictive effects in the body. The thing that can possibly be confused with addiction symptoms are the withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop taking antidepressants. These withdrawal symptoms occur as a result of the body getting used to them. Your body has to get used to the fact that it is no longer receiving antidepressants. Yet we cannot speak of an antidepressant addiction.
It is normal to experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping antidepressants, so this can be considered an uncomfortable or awkward period. However, the symptoms disappear after a while. If you wish to stop taking antidepressants, it is helpful to read the package insert and seek medical advice about stopping or tapering antidepressants if necessary to do so as responsibly as possible.
To give you a better idea of what withdrawal symptoms from taking antidepressants can entail, we list a few here:
- Abdominal pain
- Irritation (temper)
- Disturbance of appetite
- Sleep problems, including nightmares
The psychological antidepressant addiction
Although antidepressants do not contain substances that can cause physical addiction, you may feel that you can no longer function without the help of antidepressants. In the case of antidepressants, therefore, we speak rather of a psychological antidepressant addiction, since the physical aspect is virtually absent here.
Because problems such as depression or anxiety are experienced as intense forms of a vicious circle, which you often feel difficult to get out of. The chance of relapse if you stop after taking antidepressants can therefore be very frightening for many, making it difficult to "have to stop with a solution. In addition, antidepressants are prescribed for issues related to feelings of guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and feelings that are often associated with lower self-esteem. As a result, antidepressants and consequently an antidepressant addiction can feel like a necessity to function because 'you would never get out of it yourself'.
How do you treat antidepressant addiction?
There are different types of treatments for depression, anxiety, but also for low self-esteem, guilt, etc. One is medication. Another form is therapy. The above mentioned feelings are often at the root of an addiction. Therefore, it can be useful to address them at the source, identifying what these feelings mean and working step by step on your antidepressant addiction and underlying issues.
An antidepressant addiction is created by creating a bad habit of dealing with certain feelings or situations. Therapy can help you replace these unhealthy habits with healthy ones and thus find happiness in your life.
15Minutes4Me.com is an online self-help program based on solution-focused and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and helps you in multiple areas:
- Replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones; finding solutions to process unprocessed feelings.
- Developing yourself; making your personal choices in order to find your happiness
- Reduce your psychological vulnerability by working not only in the here and now but also on relapse prevention.
Antidepressant addiction? Take the free self-test?
Would you like to know to what extent your antidepressant addiction is affecting your daily life? Then do the free self-testhere!