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Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications

Updated on October 31, 2014

There are a good amount of commercials and magazine ads for antidepressants lately. It seems that a lot of people are suffering from depression or other mental health disorders and are looking to find help for their symptoms. Some doctors are quick to prescribe antidepressant medications to try and help relieve the symptoms of depression. What those doctors sometimes fail to mention, is that there are a lot of risks and side effects associated with taking these medications.

While browsing through a magazine, I saw an advertisement for an antidepressant. I read the ad and saw a list of many side effects and risks that almost took up the entire page. One of the risks mentioned in the ad was very serious. It said that the medication may increase suicidal thoughts and tendencies in teens and young adults. As a young adult, I would not want to take that risk. I would want something that would help to get rid of suicidal thoughts, not possibly increase them.

I have been on antidepressants and have not found them to be successful in my treatment. Everyone is different and what may work for one person, may not work for another. However, I had experienced many side effects with each antidepressant medication that I had been on. The side effects outweighed the benefits for me, so I told my doctor about the side effects.

My doctor told me to gradually taper off of the antidepressant. You do not want to go cold turkey and just stop taking this type of medication. It could cause even worse side effects, like a withdrawal. However, even when I did slowly taper off of the medications, I still experienced withdrawal side effects. The side effects were so bad, at one time, I thought that I was dying. I did not realize that it was an effect of the medication until it happened to me the next time I tried another antidepressant.

Some of the side effects that I had experienced while taking antidepressants were excessive fatigue and tiredness throughout the day. I had also experienced severe irritability and anger, nausea and a feeling of electric shock in my arms which caused me to constantly feel that I had to move my arms. The medications I took did not help me with my mental or emotional symptoms. In fact, they made me more depressed because I was so tired all the time and I felt as if I were just dragging through the day.

Other people that I have spoken with about their experience with antidepressant medications, have told me that they had also experienced similar side effects as I did. I have heard of people having hallucinations while taking these medications as well. While these medications may be beneficial to some people, there are other people who can not tolerate them who may actually end up feeling worse while taking them.

If you are planning on taking an antidepressant, you should be aware of the risks and side effects of these medications. This is not to discourage you, but to make you more informed and knowledgeable about what it is that you are taking. While some people may not experience any side effects, the majority of people that I know who have taken antidepressant medications have experienced some pretty bad side effects. Those side effects are what made them and myself want to stop using the medication.

I am currently treating my depression with natural supplements. While natural supplements may also carry a risk of side effects, I feel that the effects are more subtle and easily tolerable as compared to that of a chemical prescription medication. The natural supplements that I take may actually be beneficial for my body as opposed to a prescription antidepressant that could potentially cause harm.

I also feel that natural supplements have helped to alleviate some of the symptoms of my depression more so than any antidepressant that I had ever been on. I would recommend natural options, such as changing diet, exercise, meditation, yoga or natural supplements before going on an antidepressant. If you are suffering from depression, I am not saying that you should not take an antidepressant. That is your choice and if you take a prescription antidepressant, there is a chance that it may help you. Based upon my experience, I find that natural remedies may be worth a try first before resorting to these medications because they do not have as many risks and side effects of a prescription antidepressant.


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    • Sunshine Days profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunshine Days 

      3 years ago

      You're welcome, I agree. Thank you for your comment.

    • RTalloni profile image


      3 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the side effects of antidepressants. It is important to share information that doctors side-step.

    • Sunshine Days profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunshine Days 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for your comment Jackie, I agree.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Good article to make people aware. Doctors do not pay enough attention to side effects or discuss them with their patients. If many knew up front the risks they may want to try another venue which in the end could be the best.

    • Sunshine Days profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunshine Days 

      3 years ago

      Good point, I was told this by my therapist as well.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Sometimes there is a more underline medical problem that causes these mental problems so look at other things in your health that might be the real cause before taking antidepressants.


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