It is estimated that up to 10% of the US population suffer from depression. With this in mind it is no wonder that antidepressants are prescribed almost constantly.
Many people are so caught up with their depression that they fail to take the side effects into consideration. If we look at Prozac we can see that apart from depression it has been prescribed for panic attacks, PMTand even as an aid to stop smoking. Why? Because it was believed it had few if any side effects. The thinking has changed. Side effects of Prozac include:
and a number of others such as dry mouth and yawning!
Whilst its true that Prozac adjusts serotonin (the chemical linked to well being and happiness) this only lasts for the duration of time you take the medication. Once stopped the levels return to normal.
Zoloft another popular antidepressant has much the same list of side effects as Prozac, and that's according to its own website.
In children who are prescribed these drugs for their childhood depression the effects can be more enhanced. This can include less common but especially frightening side effects for children such as hallucinations.
Once people start experiencing the side effects they want to stop taking the drugs but this is far from easy. Withdrawl can cause nausea, dizziness, paranoia and extreme cases even suicide.
Taking all of this into account it might be more sensible to try more natural remedies and solutions before turning to medication. This can include looking at diet, lifestyle and maybe considering practices like yoga or swimming. For those of faith even prayer may bring some relaxation and inner tranquility. A natural remedy that many use for mild depression is St Johns Wort (which would fill another article on its own) its worth looking up St Johns Wort on the net to see for yourself the benefits.
Many people argue that the FDA are too lax with bringing new drugs to market and that more research and clinical trials need to be conducted before they are made widely available. This would at least ensure that drugs with fewer side effects are prescribed to patients.
It is unwise to say you should never take antidepressants, and often they can be the only solution to the debilitating symptoms of depression, however looking at other alternatives first should certainly be considered.