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Everything you wanted to know about antidepressants

Antidepressants are a general name for several groups of drugs that are prescribed primarily for depressive disorder and its variants (such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder). However, not all mental disorders require the use of antidepressants, and not only depression can be treated with them.

Antidepressants affect the way our neurons communicate with each other – particularly when it comes to mood. These drugs do not make people "happy" - they help them function, find strength for psychotherapy, or "just" do everyday things. The word "easy" is in quotes, because in the case of mental disorders, everyday things are very difficult.

Which drugs a specific person needs depends not only on the diagnosis, but also on the entire medical history, even family history, as well as other drugs that the person is currently taking. If the doctor prescribed a psychiatric drug, but "the miracle did not happen", this does not mean that the doctor is bad, and evidence-based medicine is ineffective. Quite often, the doctor selects the required drug and its dose in several approaches - this is a normal practice provided by medical treatment protocols. There are drugs of the so-called first, second, and third line of therapy - if the first-line drugs (the most common and most universal) did not work, then they continue to try until the right treatment regimen is selected. In the vast majority of cases, this can be done.

And the terrible side effects?

Taking a number of antidepressants can have side effects such as loss of libido, changes in sleep patterns, and weight gain (not all at the same time).

Weight gain due to medication or loss of sex drive is really unpleasant. Especially if you are reading these lines and everything is fine with your psyche at the moment, such information about drugs is terrifying. But in a state of depression, even without medication, people often lose libido and relationships in general, healthy sleep, appetite, or have eating disorders (compulsive overeating, for example), may abuse alcohol or even try to commit suicide. Human life is on the scales. You should choose life.

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