Depression is no joke – on bad days, even getting out of bed can seem daunting. Luckily, people are now slowly growing to understand mental health and handle it better, thanks to awareness campaigns. In fact, depression was the theme of International Yoga Day 2017! This article about the side effects of antidepressants is our contribution to the cause.
Antidepressants are certainly a boon; that they help thousands of people with depression function in their daily lives more easily – something that can otherwise be a huge challenge. But we mustn’t ignore the fact that they must be used responsibly since they, just like any other pills, can cause harm.
The Possible Side Effects Of Antidepressants
Weight gain is one of the long term side effects of antidepressants – it results from prolonged use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). A number of studies have found that such pills cause a significant amount of weight gain over a period of time. Now this serious, since weight gain can increase the risk of developing other health conditions like diabetes – and it can also possibly worsen depression by reducing self confidence. One way you can minimise this side effect is by tweaking your diet and lifestyle. This means doing yoga and eating a weight-healthy diet.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Antidepressants alter brain chemistry, so fluctuations in sleeping patterns are an obvious result. Disturbed sleep is among the early side effects of depression pills. When you’ve just gotten started on the medication, chances are that you either can’t drift off to sleep or cannot stay asleep. People also report having intensified dreams – nightmares are common. Others feel drowsy and lethargic during the day. This is because some pills have a stimulating effect on the body, while others calm the nerves.
Decreased Quality of Sex Life
Some of the most common documented side effects of antidepressants on sex life include low libido, delay or failure to orgasm, lower sensitivity in the genitals, difficulty in getting erections, and untimely ejaculation. These long term effects are much more common than one might expect. While this may be an uncomfortable issue to address, it’s worth checking whether you could be experiencing this as a result of the pills. Because if so, the solution can be as easy as switching to another set of pills. Discuss it with your partner and doctor, since having a healthy and fulfilling sex life can do a lot to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Other Physical Symptoms
There can be various depression medication side effects on the body, especially when you just begin taking them. Some of them are:
- Vision blurs
- Dry mouth
- Muscle ache
- Joint ache
Increased Risk of Suicide
This may come as a surprise, but antidepressants can actually increase the tendency to have suicidal thoughts. This is more common in children, adolescents, teenagers as well as adults in their twenties who have severe depression. This is perhaps one of the most serious side effects of antidepressants. The most sensitive time is the initial period of the medication – so stay in touch with your doctor and reach out to friends, family and people around you for support.
Remember, depression is not your battle alone – your loved ones are fighting it with you. Never hesitate to ask anyone for help and know that things do and will get better.