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What You Need To Know Before Starting On Antidepressants

Keep reading for the basic info on how these meds really work.

POSTEDBYMALKINA VARGAS

Let’s face it, the majority of us have dabbled into the world of antidepressants at least once in our lives. With anxiety and depression rates reaching staggering new heights, the younger generations have been left with no choice but to resort to external medical help for the plethora of mental health obstacles that we are dealing with in the world today.

It is important to mention that this is not meant to stigmatize the usage or the pursuit of antidepressants or any mental health medications for that matter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional, medical help when one feels like it could benefit their mental health and overall wellbeing. However, antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds must be handled with caution, whether one is first starting on them or ready to wean off of them. 

First of all, understanding the way these specific type of meds work can make the first few weeks upon taking them less of a whirlwind. The actual beneficial effects of these medications may not start to take full effect until 4 weeks after taking them, and in some cases it can take up to 6 weeks. During this time period, your mind and body will go through various side effects as it gets accustomed to the foreign substance now entering your system on a daily basis.

Side effects of most antidepressants include nausea, dry mouth, grogginess, lack of appetite, increase in appetite, increased anxiety or depression, indigestion, dizziness, and headaches. It is recommended to not get discouraged because of these side effects and to push through because most of them should pass within the first few weeks. Once they pass, then the benefits of the medication should start to show.

As for weaning off the medications, it is imperative to not stop taking them cold turkey. This may not be an issue with other medications, but with antianxiety and antidepressant medications, decreasing the dosage little by little and weaning off the medication slowly is the most effective way. Stopping cold turkey can lead to intense withdrawals that could last weeks or even months to get over. 

All in all, make sure you do research before consulting with a licensed psychiatrist, have them properly evaluate you, and then make sure you are being monitored throughout the entire process in order for you to appreciate all the benefits that these medications can truly bring to your life.

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