anti-depressants

Anti-depressants are the first-line treatment for moderate to severe depression. These medications should always be prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy to see the biggest improvement in depressive symptoms.

But some people hesitate when beginning treatment due to possible side effects.


anti-depressants-facts-side-effects

Choosing The Right Anti-Depressant

It is important to choose an anti-depressant based on the side effect profile, effectiveness, and cost.

Sexual side effects, fatigue, weight gain, and fluctuations in mood are common side effects associated with anti-depressants.

Suicidal ideations are the most concerning side effect, and physicians should always counsel their patients when prescribing anti-depressants, for this reason.

It usually takes 6-8 weeks to see a response to anti-depressants, and sometimes it may require switching to a different anti-depressant to find the most effective medication for you.

You should discuss any side effects you experience with your doctor, so that your treatment can be as comfortable as possible.

The Link Between Weight, Depression, & Anti-Depressants

Although weight gain is a possible side effect of anti-depressants, it is difficult to confirm whether anti-depressants are the root cause of the weight gain.

One of the symptoms associated with depression is a change in appetite, which can mean an increased or decreased appetite.

This change in appetite is often coupled with inactivity, as individuals with depression tend to lose interest in exercise and hobbies.

Inactivity, coupled with an increase in appetite, will often lead to weight gain.

On the other hand, a decrease in appetite will usually lead to weight loss. Individuals who have lost weight because of their depression can regain their weight back after starting anti-depressants and psychotherapy.

This is most likely because as their mood improves, they regain a healthy appetite.

Anti-depressants also may trigger changes in metabolism, causing the body to burn calories less efficiently, or increase hunger resulting in consuming more calories.

Anti-Depressants & Sexual Side Effects

Another big concern for some clients is sexual side effects, which include sexual dysfunction or reduced sensation.

Anti-depressants, especially SSRIs, affect serotonin, which in turn can affect dopamine levels.

If experienced, these side effects are temporary, and can be treated by switching to another medication, changing the dose of the current medication, or adding a medication such as Bupropion or Wellbutrin.

Staying Healthy During Treatment

Recovery can be a demanding journey. The effects of depression are devastating on the body and mind, and side effects can pose additional challenges.

The first step is to be honest with your physician about your concerns.

Secondly, it can be easy to overlook diet and exercise.

However, staying physically active and eating whole, nutritious foods can help maintain a stable weight while fueling your body and reducing fatigue.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, non-processed foods, lean meats, and minimal dairy are all dietary staples to keep in mind.

Finding an enjoyable exercise routine is the key to staying active. It is hard to exercise if it’s a chore.

Try out different exercise routines, whether it is running, hiking, yoga, or fitness classes.

If you find that you are living a healthy lifestyle, but are still gaining weight, experiencing unusual fatigue, or having trouble with sexual side effects, follow up with your doctor.

Start Your Journey With AKUA

No matter where you are in your journey, AKUA can help. If you are struggling with mental illness, addiction, or co-occurring disorders, our clinical team can tailor a specific treatment to your needs and goals.

Detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment options are all available. Call our admissions counsellors today for a compassionate evaluation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recovery Starts Here!

If you or a loved one is struggling with a depressive disorder or substance abuse & addiction disorder, AKUA Mind & Body can help. Our helpline is available 24/7 and our Admissions Counselors will help determine which program is right for you.

The AKUA Mind & Body solution

AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with codependence disorder and other mental health and substance use disorders. AKUA Mind & Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder. 

AKUA’s Treatment Approaches

Insurance Coverage

VERIFY YOUR INSURANCE

In-Network With

Anthem Insurance
Aetna Insurance
Cigna Insurance
health net
Beacon Health Option
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Magellan Health Services
HMC Health Works
Tricare
western health advantage
prime-health
Multiplan Insurance
Sharp
Molina

Most PPO Policies Accepted

Optum Insurance
Humana Insurance
United-healthcare Insurance
Ameri-health Insurance
HighMark
UPMC Health Plan
Allcare Insurance
Oscar
Pacificare
Morial Care
Chipa

24/7 ADMISSIONS HELPLINE

LegitScript approved

Copyright © 2020 AKUA Mind & Body. All Rights Reserved.