Antidepressant medications can help to regulate the mood of people with moderate to severe depression. They can also reduce fatigue and keep a person with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder from having fits of rage. But there are several side effects to consider if you or a loved one have an antidepressant recommendation from a doctor. Antidepressants can also be abused—those who take them in excess usually do so to feel more upbeat or rid themselves of dangerous, extremely sad, or suicidal thoughts.
The adverse consequences of taking antidepressants could include lack of sexual desire, fatigue, more intense depression, or loss of appetite. If a depressed person is taking more than one medication at a time, this increases the risk for side effects to be severe and drastically affect the patient’s health. A person who is taking antidepressants and drinking alcoholic beverages can also express side effects like extreme sluggishness and lack of coordination, narcolepsy-like symptoms, such as blacking out for a period of time and not remembering his/her actions.
If you suspect that a loved one or patient is abusing antidepressants, or if you feel that you’re relying too heavily on the medications, pay attention to the warning signs that indicate the need for addiction treatment. For instance, if a family member starts becoming very secretive, i.e. leaving the house for long periods of time without telling anyone, or spending hours locked in a room of the home, this could be a sign that you need to drug test your loved one for large doses of medication. Complete Drug Testing Solutions has all the tools you need to accurately test for antidepressant abuse. Once you receive the results, seek professional treatment for your family member, or talk with your doctor about ways to reduce your medication dosage or switch prescriptions.