Antidepressants are one of the most prescribed medications out there. But how much do you know about the side effects of antidepressants?
One in six Americans takes antidepressants or other psychiatric medications, most of them (84.3%) on a long-term basis. (1) This is especially concerning when using addictive drugs like Valium and Xanax. (2) That number is more than double what it was in 1999.
Many who take prescription drugs take more than one. In fact, 20% are on five or more. (3) That’s because sometimes one antidepressant doesn’t work as expected. Hence, “polypharmacy” is the recent trend in Psychiatry. (4, 5) These trends are occurring everywhere in the industrialized world. (6, 7) Doctors are handing out prescriptions like candy on Halloween.
The Side Effects of Antidepressants
Your doctor probably didn’t tell you about a potentially serious side effect of antidepressant use that’s not written on the drug pamphlet.
As with any pharmaceutical, antidepressants don’t cure the problem—they only mask the symptoms by synthetically altering brain chemical balances.
Many drugs are “new-to-nature” molecules, meaning that they don’t exist in nature but were created in a laboratory. (8) In the process of manipulating bodily processes, they affect other (natural) chemical processes.
Every prescription drug comes with a list of possible side effects. Excluded from the list is the nutrient deficiencies they cause.
Losing nutrients to the point of deficiency can lead to other problems. Ironically, some of them contribute to anxiety and depression.
This is why some people feel worse after starting an antidepressant prescription, for which their doctor may prescribe more than one kind of antidepressant drug at a time.