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Depression medicines

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by sweetkymom, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. sweetkymom

    sweetkymom Member

    Is it possible to get addicted to depression meds? I was just diagnosed with depression and am scared to take medicine as I've heard they are addictive. Any insight?
  2. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    Yes, you can get addicted to depression meds, that is true. It's good to know that you are concerned about this matter. You can go through the natural healing process, how about talking to your friends? That should help. :)
  3. I am not a doctor so I cannot speak with any authority but have significant experience with people who are/were on medication for depression. It is my understanding that it depends on the medication, dosage and other factors but for the most part medication for depression is not addictive. I would recommend discussing it with your doctor first so you fully understand side effects, purpose of the medication and how much you will be taking. Another thing to consider is you may not be on it forever, your doctor may wean you off it at one time or another.
    blur92 likes this.
  4. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Good question, sweetkymom.

    From WebMD:

    SSRIs do not cause addiction in the way cocaine, tobacco, or heroin do. After a period of exposure to SSRIs, however, the brain does adapt and get "used to" the medicine. For this reason, you shouldn't stop taking an SSRI suddenly without talking to your doctor. After completing treatment, most SSRIs are tapered before stopping, and the brain readjusts.

    Bottom Line: SSRIs aren't addictive, but they shouldn't be stopped abruptly either.

    Commonly prescribed SSRIs:
    Definitely discuss this with your doctor, but click here to read more.
    blur92, RoseK, jdroc and 1 other person like this.
  5. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I have a lot of close loved ones/friends on depression medications. Sometimes I wonder if they are addicted to them. I don't know anyone who has tried them had gone off of them. I don't know enough about them to really say anything though. :/
  6. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Depression medications cause addiction, I know quite a few number of people who started taking them and never managed to stop, their personality go changed and they have mood swings...
  7. ambernw

    ambernw Member

    I think some people can become mentally dependent on depression medications, my grandmother being one of them. She has continuously have used SSRI's in the past and now, and claims she needs them. Personally, I have taken Zoloft before and stopped taking them just fine. I believe it has to do with the person and their own personalities and opinions on this.
  8. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    My sister-in-law takes anti-depressive medicines for over 2 years now and she's just in her mid-forties, so will they take them for life? I don't think that's a healthy choice really, we should be able to life drug free.
  9. 420nosmoke

    420nosmoke Member

    There is a difference between "addiction" and "dependence." It is technically incorrect to call SSRIs addictive. They don't get you "high" in any way; you don't get a psychological craving for them. They typically take a few weeks before you can notice any changes at all, and then the changes are usually subtle and gradual. How SSRIs work is, after you have been on them a while, they alter the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain in a way that is supposed to make you feel less depressed. Due to the nature of these drugs, you are NOT supposed to quit them cold turkey, ever. It can actually be very dangerous to do so. You have to slowly decrease your dose before you can go off completely, and you should do this under doctor supervision.

    If someone says they "can't stop taking" their antidepressant meds or are "addicted" to them, they don't exactly mean it in the same way that a person with an addiction to Xanax or Adderall would. It just means that, whether or not the drugs are helping with the depression, they can't just quit taking them tomorrow if they wanted to. I hope I made that clear. Feel free to ask more about the topic.
  10. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    OK, thanks for making that clear, for me it was the same addiction or dependence. I guess that someone dependent just flips out when doesn't take the drugs?
  11. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You can get addicted but if you need the medication then it is best to take it. Some medication for depression when taken for too long can change your outlook completely and it is also to be understood that you should not do it long term. Try to sort your depression out emotionally and physically so that you sont have to be prescribed again after a few doctors visits. Mood food can help you as well as exercise so get physical and eat your way through the depression. Start with a nice chocolate! Then look up the foods that are good for easing depression.
  12. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    With mental health issues especially, it's important to address the mental as well as the chemical. I would suggest finding a therapeutic outlet for your depression, on top of medication, that way you always have someone else that is advocating for you, can see things that maybe you don't see, and wont be afraid to tell you the truth. If you truly need the medication, don't avoid it, just take the proper precautions when using it.
  13. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    Depending on your condition there may not be a "healing process". I suffer from moderate depression, PTSD, and anxiety issues. I have had friends tell me "Oh get over it and be happy dude." It isn't a matter of getting over it. It isn't something I can control. I have triggers, as most people with PTSD do, and I have learned to recognize them to minimize the anxiety I feel from them, but they never go away. It isn't something you can just turn off and get over. Unless you have issues like that you really don't understand it. It is a day to day process of managing your whole life around your condition, which can make you depressed if you aren't careful.
  14. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but chocolate is not going to cure depression. Most people that suffer from true depression would need to eat 10lbs a day, and that would create a whole mess of other problems, not to mention that we're still basically talking about a chemical reaction in the brain.

    I'm all for alternative therapies, but healing is going to take a lot more work than eating right and a good yoga pose.
  15. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Yep, eating too much doesn't solve anything, it just makes you gain weight, you need to get to the bottom of it, not cover a problem with another one.
  16. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    I agree. That is my problem with people who really don't understand chronic depression. Yes you can work out and change your diet to help with some of the symptoms of depression, but some people need much more than that. Depression isn't having a bad day at work. It isn't having a hard time dealing with the grocery clerk or your spouse. Depression is everyday, 24/7, all year round. It is something you never stop feeling even when you are having a pretty good day. It is always there relentless, and you are powerless against it at times. I'm not for just popping a happy pill and saying I am all good either. Each person has to deal with their depression in a way that is somewhat unique to that person. Chocolate is just not going to work.
  17. 420nosmoke

    420nosmoke Member

    Well, in the case of SSRIs, if someone suddenly stops taking them their brain chemical levels are altered and this can make them extremely depressed, moody, suicidal, or psychotic temporarily. It isn't really about an emotional attachment to the drugs, but the physical reaction that can make them "flip out" as you put it.
    Nick W. likes this.
  18. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    I never had took depression meds it could be the same case like with adderall. I would not like to know about being addicted to depression meds.
  19. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    420nosmoke makes a great point here. SSRIs in particular, are complex medications when you talk about coming off of them. In many cases, a doctor will "ween" you off of the medication slowly, while monitoring your levels, and other contributing factors as well.
  20. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That is what I have a hard time understanding, how can those drugs be prescribed if they create dependence and have so many side effects...