The Top 8 Myths and Truths about Antidepressants

Published: 11th December 2009
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When you are feeling depressed one of the most common treatments available besides counseling is antidepressants. While it may take you trying a couple of different antidepressants before you find one that works for you the fact is that they are still a great way to deal with depression. But there are many people who could possibly benefit from antidepressants and sadly never do because they have their heads filled with myths and are unaware of the truths about the drugs.

While there are many different myths about antidepressants, there are eight that are very common and usually misunderstood. Here are the eight most common myths about antidepressants followed by the truths:

1. Myth: Antidepressant will make you a mindless being.
Truth: While a feeling of apathy may sometimes occur, a simple changing of antidepressants usually fixes the problem. However, if given properly the antidepressants will not alter your personality but rather help you feel more like you should.

2. Myth: Once you start taking antidepressants you can never stop.
Truth: In most cases people take antidepressants on a six to nine month cycle and then reevaluate their situation with their doctor to see if the depression is under control. If you and your doctor feel that your depression is under control you will then begin the process of weaning yourself off of the antidepressants altogether.

3. Myth: Antidepressants don't help you deal with things, just forget them.
Truth: Taking antidepressants can actually help you to feel better and not feel so drained of energy which will actually help you to deal with problems on a more level playing field. In fact many counselors report that their patients often show more progress while on antidepressants.

4. Myth: Antidepressants will make you gain weight.
Truth: If this is a concern you should talk with your doctor. Some antidepressants will make you gain weight and some will actually make you lose weight and still others will have no effect at all. It all depends on a specific antidepressant's side effects.

5. Myth: Antidepressants destroy your sexual drive.
Truth: As with other side effects, some antidepressants may be worse than others in this department. However, the problem is usually an inability to achieve an orgasm rather than a lack of sexual drive. But because being depressed can absolutely crush your libido, taking an antidepressant when depressed can actually help your sex life, not hurt it.

6. Myth: Antidepressants are too expensive and not covered by your insurance.
Truth: If your insurance plan has prescription drug coverage then chances are that your antidepressants will be coved under the plan. Even if you do not have insurance there are many generic brands of antidepressants available for as little as $15 per month.

7. Myth: Taking antidepressants means you are weak.
Truth: Just as with any other medical condition, when depression hits you so hard that it is inhibiting your ability to live a normal life then something needs to be done. Taking antidepressants in this case does not make you weak, but rather shows that you take good care of yourself.

8. Myth: Antidepressants make you want to commit suicide.
Truth: This is one of the most hotly debated points when it comes to antidepressants. Recent studies show that antidepressants only raise suicidal thoughts in a very small percentage among children and virtually not at all with adults. But there is no arguing of the countless lives that antidepressants have saved. Think about it, if a person is so depressed that they feel there is no way out, unfortunately suicide is often their solution. The bottom line is that you should tell someone if you or anyone else you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide regardless of whether you are on antidepressants.

For better or for worse antidepressants are here to stay. But the myths that seem to always pop up are increasingly being met with some facts to counteract the fear and confusion that can be caused. When it comes right down to it, an antidepressant is a drug. As long as you are taking that drug with the advice and the help of your doctor, there should be no reason to get caught up in all the hype.
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