16 'Embarrassing' Side Effects of Antidepressants We Don't Talk About
When you take an antidepressant, experiencing side effects often comes with the territory. For some folks, some of these side effects can be unwanted or “embarrassing.”
Maybe you are chronically fatigued because of your medication, and have fallen asleep at inopportune times. Maybe you have experienced noticeable weight fluctuations you’re tired of explaining to loved ones. Or maybe your antidepressant has affected your sex life, making it hard to achieve an orgasm.
Whatever your experience with antidepressant side effects is, we want you to know you aren’t alone. We asked members of our Mighty community to share one “embarrassing” side effect they experience themselves because of antidepressants.
Before we begin, we want to preface by saying that feelings of embarrassment are very real, and like all feelings, are completely valid. But even though it’s natural to feel embarrassed sometimes, we want you to know the following side effects are common. If you feel like your antidepressant side effects are affecting the quality of your life, talk to your doctor about making adjustments.
Without further ado, here’s what our community shared with us:
1. Inability to Orgasm
“Cannot orgasm. Makes my partner feel horrible. It’s not his fault though.” — Jonna B.
“So hard to orgasm. Really tough on our relationship, because he feels awful and responsible and I feel frustrated and like a failure.” — Honni L.
“Sweat. I sweat so much due to my antidepressants. I have to watch what I wear in order to hide the sweat stains. Something I never had to do before I was put on the meds. I also have to leave events in order to cool down cause I overheat so easily now.” — Sam T.
“Sweatiness. I have to carry body spray in case of bad sweat odor.” — Andrea V.
“Night sweats. I often wake up literally dripping with sweat in wet sheets.” — Benedicta W.
3. Weight Gain
“Weight gain. Then that sets me up for depression and fear from extra weight — basically like a cat chasing it’s tail.” — Rikki J.
“The immense weight gain.” — Sukanya G.
4. Unexpected Flatulence
“Side effect of Zoloft… ‘increased/unexpected flatulence.’ Lol I learned the hard way by experience.” — Case T.
5. Brain Fog or Forgetfulness
“I forget people’s faces and names a lot and space out completely sometimes, it’s really frustrating and usually spikes my anxiety even more.” — Ly C.
“Brain fog prevents me from remembering someone’s name unless I have heard it several times so I become embarrassed and too anxious to admit I forgot.” — Bailee S.
“It used to make me spacey. I would drive to get to my classes and not remember how to get there.” — Katlyn C.
“I have Zoloft brain: no memory, forget why I walked into a room, forget what I’m saying mid-sentence! Among other side effects.” — Gina G.
6. Low Sex Drive
“Sex drive is nowhere. Literally can’t perform, no matter how hard you try.” — Jordin R.
“Definitely the sex drive thing no matter what it feels like nothing happens and then I feel guilt, like something is wrong with me, even though my partner is accepting and he understands.” — Danielle B.
7. Constant Fatigue
“I’m so tired all the time. I’m so fatigued. I have no energy for anything, and people assume it’s laziness.” — Sophie S.
8. Inability to Sleep
“Honestly? The insomnia. It takes a toll on your physical appearance. The bags under my eyes are so dark all of the time. It’s embarrassing.” — Courtney D.
“All the antidepressants I’ve taken give me hand tremors. People think I’m anxious or don’t know what I’m doing in my job as a nurse. It’s frustrating at times and I get self-conscious.” — Erin W.
10. Frequent Urination
“Frequent urination, hormonal imbalance and being hostile towards others and self.” — Abbey D.
“Having to pee all the time.” — Danielle M.
11. Increased Acne
“Idk if it’s just me, but acne. I didn’t have anything but a pimple here or there — now, I’m always in a full-blown breakout.” — Katie C.
“Night sweats, a very random sex drive, stomach upsets, terrible skin.” — Claire M.
12. Bruising Easily
“Bruising easily. I am usually black and blue from bruises I don’t know how I got in the first place.” — Kelli T.
13. Constant Yawning
“The constant yawning. It sounds like nothing, but if someone is talking to you and you’re yawning through the conversation, it looks rude. Plus it’s annoying to colleagues (and somewhat contagious). I remember distinctly the first day I started taking an antidepressant and I must have yawned every two minutes from about two hours of taking it and my jaw actually ached the next day. Now it’s less, but it’s still a bit annoying and embarrassing.” — Rach S.
14. Falling Asleep Unexpectedly
“Sleepiness. Like, falling asleep in the middle of things sleepiness.” — Jennifer N.
“Falling asleep while talking to someone.” — Amanda H.
15. Hair Loss
“My hair is falling out by the handfuls. Every time I wash it, my fingers are filled with clumps.” — Diana M.
16. Numbness or Lack of Feeling
“The absolute lack of feeling. Everyone thinks antidepressants make you happy and perfectly fine, but that’s never the case.” — Quinn G.
“The numbed emotions and feelings. The dullness of expressions. The lack of showing you care even though you care a lot.” — Kelsey W.
If you’re struggling with antidepressant side effects, don’t give up! It doesn’t mean you are doomed to struggle with your mental health forever. You’re never alone and there are so many people out there who understand.
Can you relate? Let us know in the comments.
Getty Images photo via Evgenii_Bobrov