Antidepressants are mood-stabilizing drugs that treat certain mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. It is believed that neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine directly affect a person’s mood, therefore, antidepressants work to increase the activity of those certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
There are about three main types of antidepressants and they all serve a different purpose in the treatment of mood disorders. These three types of antidepressants include tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs were the first antidepressants on the market, and nowadays the most commonly prescribed and the safest antidepressants are SSRIs.
Antidepressants in and of themselves are not necessarily addicting drugs, but they can cause severe withdrawals symptoms if a person abruptly stops using them. So it’s not necessarily the drug itself that people get addicted to, but it is more the fear of the withdrawals symptoms that keeps people using antidepressants.
Side Effects of Antidepressants:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain
As with any drug, there is a risk of having an antidepressant overdose. Since there are numerous types of antidepressants, the signs of an overdose can vary depending on what certain antidepressant was taken and how much of it was taken. The initial signs of an overdose start developing within a few hours of consuming the drug. The symptoms of an antidepressant overdose are rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary retention, confusion and headache. An antidepressant overdose is very dangerous because these symptoms can easily escalate, possibly leading to respiratory collapse, coma or even death.
Antidepressant overdoses are more common than people may think; in fact overdoses on antidepressants are the most common cause of drug poisoning seen in emergency rooms. If you think you or someone around you is overdosing, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. There are numerous reasons why a person can overdose on antidepressants, for example, they may feel like the drug is not working so they take more. Whatever the case may be, if you or someone you know has overdosed on antidepressants it might be time to seek help, either at a drug rehabilitation center, or consult with your doctor who prescribed you the medication.
Treatment for Antidepressant Addiction
If you are suffering from an antidepressant addiction then seeking a professional drug rehab center is the first step towards overcoming your addiction. It is hard to overcome an addiction and it is even harder to do it alone, which is why drug rehab is very beneficial to anyone trying to overcome an addiction. If your use of antidepressants has reached the point of overdose then it might be time to seek help and prevent another overdose from happening.
- Wise Geek – From this website I learned what antidepressants are and how they work (by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters). I also learned that MAOIs were the first antidepressants and that SSRIs are the most prescribed and the safest.
- RxList – From this website I learned about the three main types of antidepressants.
- eHow – From this website I learned about the withdrawals symptoms of antidepressants.
- about.com – From this website I learned about the side effects of antidepressants.
- Organized wisdom – From this website I learned about antidepressant overdoses and what they symptoms are. And that antidepressant overdoses are the most common cause of drug poisoning seen in emergency rooms.