More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Dr. Deb: 5 Antidepressant Medication Myths
by Dr. Deborah Serani
January 26, 2016

1. Antidepressants are ?addictive?.

False. Antidepressants are not addictive in the way that most people would use the word. You don?t ?crave? your antidepressant. However, the medicine that gets introduced to your central nervous system becomes something your body recognizes each day. So stopping medication without the guidance from a professional can cause your body to react to the loss of these neurotransmitters. This experience, called discontinuation syndrome, can be avoided completely when proper dosage-stopping is monitored.

2. Antidepressants are ?happy pills.?

False. Antidepressants are not "uppers." Unlike drugs like speed or ecstasy which improve the mood of many, antidepressants only improve the mood of children or adults with a mood disorder. So, if someone who isn't depressed takes antidepressants, the only change they'll notice will be possible side effects...which, really, are not very happy inducing.

3. Antidepressants are a "quick fix" and don't really cure depression.

One thing antidepressants surely aren?t is quick. Most take a minimum of four to six weeks to work. And they are not meant to "fix" your depression, per se. Most people with depression need to address psychological, social and environmental issues that contribute to their depression. Treatment for depression is a two-step process: 1) Antidepressants change brain chemistry 2) As mood improves, healthier lifestyle choices and problem solving occurs.

4. Antidepressants will change your personality.

Antidepressants normalize the mood ranges of children and adults who have a mood disorder. Who you are doesn?t change, so your personality stays intact.

5. Once you start taking antidepressants, you're on them for the rest of your life.

For the majority of people, this is not true. Many who take antidepressant medication will stop their prescription when remission from depression occurs.

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