Such a term as antidepressants , the pros and cons of which still cause a lot of conflicting opinions among scientists, is familiar to almost all people, even very far from medicine. That’s just what this “beast” is, and with what it is “eaten”, not everyone knows. Unfortunately, many specialized somatic doctors are unaware of this plainly.
From the name of this class of drugs, it follows that they are prescribed for the treatment of depression. In fact, everything is not so simple. In psychiatry, many antidepressant drugs are also successfully used to treat panic disorders and neurosis of obsessive conditions. And all the myths and rumors about antidepressants are born due to the fact that ordinary people, and many doctors – not psychiatrists – have a very poor idea of what depression is.
When and to whom antidepressants are indicated
Depression is not just a bad mood. This is a serious illness that includes a whole range of symptoms.
A depressed person really suffers greatly. He not only has a lowered mood – he cannot do anything: the patient simply does not have either physical or moral strength for this.
He sees everything only in black, the future seems bleak and unpromising to him; to himself, a depressed patient, as a rule, seems to be a bad person, guilty of the troubles of others, or a miserable loser. Many experience unbearable anxiety, while others experience terrible, painful insensibility.
Sleep and appetite disappear. The physical condition worsens, the work of many organs goes wrong. Suicidal thoughts are also frequent in depressed patients, and depression suffers in the number of completed suicides.
Therefore, the phrase “Take hold of yourself!” So often spoken to such patients by their relatives is not only meaningless, but even blasphemous. A depressed patient can’t pull himself together, by no means!
Such a patient needs treatment with antidepressants for health reasons. Even if it is a pregnant woman or a heavy somatic patient – there is no reason to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants – it is extremely necessary to use them. Such a patient does not just suffer, without treatment he is dangerous for himself! Another thing is that antidepressants should be selected taking into account all the nuances and related conditions of the patient.
When cons can outweigh the pros
With the so-called neurotic depression, antidepressants are really not always needed, and the disadvantages of side effects can outweigh the advantages in the form of an improvement in mental state. The real help here is provided by psychotherapy.
The situation when antidepressants are not needed and will not help – if the person is not really sick. Many people like to rush with the phrase “I’m depressed!” When there is no money or there are complex relationships in the family. But this is not depression, but a situational decline in mood. Antidepressants are not needed here and will not help, but the whole “charm” of their side people runs the risk of experiencing.
There are several myths regarding antidepressants. The most common of them are:
1. Medicines for depression are addictive. It is not true. Addiction and dependence are not typical for this group of drugs. The inability to refuse the drug is not associated with dependence on it, but with the fact that the depressive phase has not yet ended.
2. People take antidepressants like drugs to experience euphoria. Also not true. An antidepressant evens out low mood, but does not cause a pathologically elevated mood. The exception is patients with bipolar disorder – then the transition of the disorder into the manic phase is possible.
Thus, the advantages of antidepressants significantly exceed the disadvantages in the form of side effects, which are weakly expressed in most modern drugs. But only if they are prescribed strictly according to indications and only by a psychiatrist. The prescription of these drugs by somatic doctors is incorrect and can do more harm than good!