Antidepressants: Do They Really Increase Your Risk of Dying?

antidepressantsIf you’re on antidepressants, you are not alone. About one in eight Americans take them regularly, according to Science Daily. Recent research warns, however, that long-term use of these drugs might prove extremely unsafe.

Doctors prescribe antidepressants to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. As rates of use continue to climb, some mental health professionals worry they’re doing their patients more harm than good. Therefore, researchers have begun exploring whether or not doctors should prescribe these medications at all.

A meta-analysis published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that some patients are at an increased risk of dying from heart problems after long-term antidepressant use. These “heart events” include all-too-common occurrences like heart attack and stroke.

Antidepressants balance out your brain’s neurotransmitters, which ideally helps stabilize mood and decrease feelings of anxiety.

Unfortunately, these drugs have side effects. And since doctors have been prescribing them since the 1950s, it’s about time we learn the long-term implications of taking antidepressants for decades or more.

Some common side effects of different antidepressants include weight gain, high or low blood pressure, arrhythmia, and sleep problems — all of which increase a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and devastating heart disease. The sicker your heart, the greater your chances of dying.

If more studies point to the long-term dangers of taking antidepressants, doctors may try using these medications for short-term use only. As a small part of treatment for a number of mental health disorders, it’s possible they’re completely harmless. However, therapy and treatment must also include more than just drugs to relieve a patient’s symptoms and help them heal.

Counseling and therapy are some of the most common — and most effective — long-term treatments for both depression and anxiety. While some patients might need medication early on in treatment to help them cope, it doesn’t have to last forever.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.
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