Reasons People Give Against Taking Antidepressants
• Shortcut, does not involve work. Like plastic surgery
• Not a “natural” solution
• Involves changing something in you. Feel uncomfortable because the better "you" isn’t actually you
• Fear of changes in personality
• Temporary solution
• Fear of dependency and getting addicted (possibly on other drugs as well)
• Fear of having to take it for the rest of your life
• Possible side effects, e.g., nausea, insomnia, sexual dysfunction
• Possible withdrawal effects (under 20% of cases)
• Possible tolerance development (in about 20% or case, antidepressants loose effectiveness)
• Distrust of the pharmaceutical industry
• Cost (can be anywhere from 5 to 100 dollars a month)
• If you stop you can relapse into the illness
• Stigma of taking prescription medication
• Don't want to admit that there is something wrong with you (that you are sick and it’s not under your control) rather than a lifestyle choice.
Reasons For Taking Antidepressants
• If the depression is severe, antidepressants are most effective (scientifically proven)
• A last resort, if alternative remedies have not worked
• Many potential benefits, such as the possibility of complete remission (no more depression)
• Changes in personality
– Greater self-confidence and less anxiety
– Greater resilience in the face of set-backs
– More joy
– Positive changes in careers and relationships
My Own Concerns:
My initiate concerns about taking medication (form my journal, April 2009):
- May have adverse unanticipated effects that will cause me to become worse off than I already am
- Can cause relapse when discontinued, and leave me with even worse symptoms
- may be unsafe and useless
- Only half of the people relieve half of their symptoms
- May cause dependency
- Especially if it has been used regularly for an extended time or if it has been used in high doses
- Addresses the symptoms and not the problem
- Pharmacological interventions are largely palliative
- Paxil is a symptom suppressant and too many people are taking it under the false assumption that it will cure their ills
- [Drugs] release people from personal accountability, where lifestyle and self-perception changes would serve better
- Might interfere with therapy
- Can interfere with the mechanisms of successful therapy.
- Can change my state of mind (alter my perception of the world and myself).
- It will cause me to lose judgment and my ability to control my emotions and actions by deforming my way of thinking and feeling.
- They were "spellbound" by the drugs themselves: by the pharmacological properties of the drugs themselves and by the professionals who convinced them that the drugs were going to help.
- The person taking these drugs is and cannot be objective about the drugs
- Since Paxil affects chemical communication in your body, your ability to perceive daily experiences or self identity can be affected.
- Q: What is the probability of full remission from the symptoms of depression?
- Q: What are the probability, duration, and severity of Paxil withdrawal symptoms/discontinuation syndrome (when gradually decreasing the dose).
- Q: What is the probability of getting physical and emotional symptoms that were not present prior to Paxil—or worsened pre-existing symptoms—after withdrawing from the medication.
- Q: For how long after quitting Paxil will I experience the side effects? (How long does it take for Paxil to be completely out of the system?)
- Duration: 2/3 chance of symptoms subsiding within a month
- Q: Is there a test to predict susceptibility to dependence and likelihood of severe withdrawal symptoms, what they will be, and what the chance of relapse after I quit?
- Cytochrome P450
- 5HTT (Serotonin Transporter)
- Q: What is the probability of relapse after stopping medication?
- Q: Why did my psychiatrist not inform me of the possibility of withdrawal symptoms when prescribing the antidepressant?
- Q: If I miss a psychiatrist appointment, how do I ensure that I receive more of the medication, so I wont be forced to quit cold turkey and have withdrawal?
- Q: What is the probability of developing tolerance?
- approximately 20 percent of people who take antidepressants — the so-called "poop-out" effect. In such cases, the medications simply stop being effective.
- Q: How will I know if I'll be taking this medication long-term?
- Q: Are there harmful long-term effects, such as brain damage?