- Print VersionIn This Article
- Are Antidepressants Addictive?
- Understanding Antidepressant Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for Antidepressant Addiction
Are Antidepressants Addictive?
Antidepressant drugs are designed to treat individuals with moderate to severe depression. These drugs do not cure depression, but they help to relieve many of its symptoms, including sadness, irritability, and thoughts of suicide. Countless individuals use antidepressant drugs to help them function normally. If you have used antidepressants or have considered using them, you may have wondered, “How addictive are antidepressants?”
Most pharmacologists insist that antidepressants are not addictive. Many have come to this conclusion based on the fact that most antidepressants do not contain addictive substances. However, while one may not become physically addicted to antidepressants, it is definitely possible to become psychologically addicted to them. Antidepressants alter the brain’s chemical activity, and many individuals take antidepressants excessively because they feel like they cannot function normally unless chemical changes in their brain activity take place.
There are many different types of antidepressants on the market, and each one has the potential to be habit-forming. If you or a loved one consumes antidepressants habitually and would like to wean off of them, call 1-877-653-9087 for assistance, or fill out the quick contact form.
Understanding Antidepressant Dependency and Tolerance
Antidepressant dependence does not take a very long time to develop. It only takes a few minutes for an individual’s personality to change after taking antidepressant drugs. If an individual who suffers from severe depression feels happy after taking antidepressants, there is a high likelihood that this person will become psychologically dependant on the drug. Someone who suffers from extreme anxiety may take an antidepressant drug to help them relax. If the drug works well, this person also has a high likelihood of developing a psychological dependence on antidepressant drugs.
As with most drugs, it is possible for the effects of antidepressants to diminish as individuals build a tolerance for them. Doctors will often increase a patient’s dosage after a few months because the previous dosage no longer provides the same effects. Doctors may also decide to change the patient’s drug and prescribe an antidepressant that is more potent. The more tolerance a patient builds for antidepressant drugs, the more they are likely to crave them, even if the drug does not contain addictive substances.
Drug and Alcohol Tolerance vs. Dependence
Tolerance can develop after a person becomes physically addicted to drugs or alcohol, or tolerance can lead to addiction. Once individuals develop a high tolerance for drugs, alcohol or both, more of the substance will be required in order for the individual to experience the same “high” or level of intoxication that their body has become accustomed to.
When initially consumed, Antidepressant generally causes individuals to feel relaxed and calm. Depending on the strength of the drug, the user may also become extremely sedated, which causes them to go into a “zombie-like” state. When initially taken, antidepressants can slow an individual’s reaction time and cause the person to have a very careless attitude. The person will either be extremely focused or in a complete daze, depending on the antidepressant they consume.
Physical effects that may occur shortly after consumption include upset stomach, slight headaches and nausea. Coming down from antidepressants may cause an individual to experience dry mouth, constipation, agitation, anxiety and abdominal pain.
Long-term use of antidepressants can drastically affect an individual’s ability to function normally, and long-term use has many physical effects as well. Woman and men who take antidepressants for extended time periods generally experience loss of libido, inability to achieve orgasm, weight gain, migraine headaches and sleep deprivation. Many individuals also claim that the symptoms of their depression have enhanced after long-term antidepressant use. Most of the damage that long-term antidepressant use causes can be reversed. If you’ve experienced some of these effects and would like to stop using antidepressant medication, contact 1-877-653-9087 for assistance.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Withdrawal from antidepressants is more mental than physical. Some doctors decide to slowly wean patients off of antidepressant drugs. However, because antidepressants do not contain addictive substances, this is not necessary. Many practitioners and addiction specialists choose to simply stop patients from using the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms are generally mild, and include nausea and slight dizziness. Patients do not experience intense, physical detoxification symptoms when they stop using antidepressants. However, as the brain begins to function normally again, the individual may experience bouts of depression. Specialized treatment centers support patients throughout this entire process and help individuals by providing strategies to help them to cope with their depression as it arises.
Treatment for Antidepressant Addiction
Antidepressant abuse treatment is necessary for many of the individuals who have become addicted. Treatment for antidepressant addiction primarily consists of psychological counseling and support groups. Counseling sessions and support groups provide a safe environment that allows individuals to deal with the underlying issues surrounding their depression. This type of treatment has proven to be quite effective for those who have become dependent on antidepressant drugs.
Please contact 1-877-653-9087 if you or a loved one need help and support to fight an antidepressant addiction. You can also contact us by filling out the quick contact form.