18 Things Doctors Don’t Tell People About Antidepressants
Editor’s note: This piece is based on the experience of individuals. Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication.
For many, the decision to start antidepressants can be a difficult and scary one, and not knowing how an antidepressant will affect you coupled with the stigma surrounding psychiatric medication certainly doesn’t help.
Though antidepressants can be wonderful tools for managing the symptoms of mental illness, it’s frustrating when your doctor doesn’t adequately describe all the side effects or potential outcomes. We wanted to know what doctors don’t always tell patients before starting them on antidepressants, so we asked our mental health community to share one thing they wish their doctor had told them.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. “[My doctor didn’t say] it would make me more numb than ‘better.’ Yeah, I didn’t feel depressed, but I couldn’t feel any emotion, and life felt bland. I could never feel emotions like I should, which actually made things worse.” — Katie N.
2. “Even though they say your meds are ‘non-habit forming,’ you can still have serious, debilitating withdrawals when you try to get off of them, and there’s no telling how long they will last.” — Matthew A.
3. “I didn’t know antidepressants could affect your libido. I also didn’t know that they could trigger a worse situation than the depression (mania) in people with bipolar disorder. Misdiagnosis and two simultaneous antidepressants led to me picking up pieces of my life for years to come.” — Tabitha Z.
4. “[I learned] meds can work for a while and then stop working, in which case you have to start the whole trial and error process over again. The whole medication process can be incredibly frustrating as your doctor tries to find the right combination (again).” — Jackie R.
5. “Regardless of how warm or cold it is, [I] wake up in a pool of sweat. I didn’t know this was a side effect because I never heard it talked about until doing my own research.” — Kelly L.