Many people aged 12 years and older take antidepressants on a regular basis. In fact, nearly 13 percent of this segment of the population did so. This breaks down to over 16 percent of females and more than 8 percent of males. With such a larger number of people taking these medications, you might wonder are antidepressants addictive?
What Are Antidepressants?
Your medical doctor or psychiatrist must prescribe antidepressants. They address anxiety and depression by balancing out the brain’s neurotransmitters. If you, or someone you love, struggles with depression or with a certain mental disorder, antidepressants can help control symptoms.
Today, there are a range of different antidepressants. Each of these works in a different way. One of the most popular classes of antidepressants are those that increase the body’s serotonin. This natural chemical can help stabilize your mood and reduce the symptoms of anxiety, overwhelming sadness, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How Long Are Antidepressants Prescribed?
Many people who take antidepressants want to know how long they will have to take the medication. Long-term use of antidepressants is not unusual with doctors often prescribing them for a year or longer. This duration allows you or your loved one to experience the drug’s full effect.
It can take several weeks to begin feeling the effects of antidepressants. When coupled with the fact that depression itself can last from four to eight months, it’s easy to see how the time you’re on them can add up. It’s important to remember that the duration of depression noted above is just an average and that everyone is different.
Your doctor wants to give your body enough time to be on the antidepressants while easing itself back to normal. This can continue for quite some time even after the depression has passed. Once the year mark has passed, you’ll be evaluated to determine if you need to continue it longer or if you can stop taking it.
Are Antidepressants Addictive?
The normal sadness that overcomes you during life’s events is often misdiagnosed by doctors for depression. This creates an environment that exposes you to a drug that you never even needed. You might wonder are antidepressants addictive?
Unlike other drugs that are often misused, antidepressants don’t get you high in the traditional sense. That is, they don’t make you crave your next dose. This often results in the mistaken belief that antidepressants are not addictive.
Because antidepressants often take weeks before you’ll be able to feel a difference, you might not think the medication is working. This could prompt you to take more and then you could develop a tolerance.
Alcohol And Antidepressants: A Popular Combination
The label on antidepressants often cautions the user to avoid alcohol when taking them. Unfortunately, those who abuse antidepressants often do so anyway. Alcohol and antidepressants have the opposite effect on your body which can lead to potential issues if you take them together.
Taking both antidepressants and alcohol can make your depression worse. This combination might also lead to an overdose.
Antidepressants And Their Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the signs of an addictive substance is the presence of withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Because antidepressants can result in side effects, the answer to are antidepressants addictive is yes.
You should never stop taking antidepressants without the advice of your doctor. Instead, it will probably be necessary for you to taper off the medication gradually. This can help reduce the potential side effects — such as pain, anxiety, and nightmares — you experience.
If you’re still wondering are antidepressants addictive, then we at Serenity Light Recovery can help. Our trained, experienced, and compassionate team members are just a phone call away at 855.658.6109. We’re happy to answer your questions about antidepressant addiction, as well as other types of addiction.