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    34. Antidepressants

    enJune 17, 2022

    About this Episode

    Why I went on antidepressants, my experience and the stigma around medication and mental illness.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    ūüĒĎ Key Takeaways

    • Antidepressants can be a helpful tool in managing depression and anxiety, and it is important to understand their purpose and effects. Talking openly about mental illness and medication can help challenge stigma and support those in need. Always seek advice from a medical professional.
    • Antidepressants help treat chemical imbalances in the brain but are not a "happy pill." It's common for one in seven adult Australians to take antidepressants, with no shame in treating mental health with the same respect as physical health.
    • SSRIs are prescribed to stabilize moods and reduce the severity of negative emotions, but they do not offer an immediate wave of joy. They work by changing the chemical structure of the brain to be more receptive to serotonin.
    • Antidepressants can help stabilize the chemical imbalance in your brain that causes depression, but it's important to remember that they take time to work properly. Seek support if you're struggling with depression and don't stop medication suddenly.
    • Taking mental health medication requires patience and communication with a healthcare provider. Side effects may occur and adjustments may need to be made, but consistent use can lead to a better quality of life.
    • It's important to seek medical guidance before stopping antidepressants, as withdrawal symptoms can vary and be severe. Alternate therapies should be researched thoroughly, and it's vital to recognize that the brain can become dependent on antidepressants.
    • While natural healing practices can be beneficial, medication can be necessary for some individuals to lead a healthy life. Depression is not always solely a chemical imbalance, and withdrawal from antidepressants can be challenging to handle.
    • Antidepressants can be a helpful tool for treating mental health problems, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes time to feel the full effects of medication, and it is important to develop healthier ways of thinking and managing life. Consider the potential risks and benefits before deciding to take medication.

    ūüďĚ Podcast Summary

    Breaking Down the Stigma: Exploring the Basics of Antidepressants in Your Twenties

    In this podcast episode, Jemma Sbeg talks about her personal experience with taking antidepressants and aims to provide some basic information about what it's like to take them, why people take them, and how they fit into the broader context of our twenties.She highlights the importance of talking about antidepressants to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness and medication.It is important to note that this podcast is not intended to be a source of medical advice and anyone considering taking antidepressants should discuss it with their GP or mental health professional.Many people who experience depression or anxiety will go on some form of medication, usually before the age of 30, and it's important to have a good understanding of what that means for your brain and what you can expect.

    Understanding the Role of Antidepressants in Treating Chemical Imbalances.

    Antidepressants are medication used to treat chemical imbalances in the brain that cause depression and anxiety.Contrary to popular belief, they are not a "happy pill" but rather work by increasing the availability of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.One in seven adult Australians are on antidepressants and they are one of the 10 most prescribed drugs in the country.There is no shame in taking medication for mental health issues just as there is no shame in taking medication for physical injuries.Treating mental health with the same respect we treat physical health involves exploring treatment options, including medication.

    Understanding the Mechanism and Effects of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

    Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are medications commonly prescribed to people experiencing depression or anxiety.These drugs work by blocking the sending neuron from taking back serotonin, the happy chemical, once it is released, meaning more of the chemical becomes available within the synapse, changing the chemical structure of the brain to be more receptive to serotonin, creating a more stable mood.SSRIs push you back into equilibrium, placing you in the middle of the rollercoaster of emotions, steadying extreme lows and highs, reducing anxiety and depression.These drugs are not happy pills and will not provide an immediate wave of joy, but will stabilize your mood, reducing the severity of negative emotions.

    Understanding Antidepressants and Depression

    Depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain, but external factors can also contribute.Antidepressants, such as SSRIs, stabilize this chemical imbalance by making more serotonin available to your brain.This creates a sense of control, peace, and happiness in your life.It's important to remember that antidepressants take time to work, and it's not healthy to go off them cold turkey.Personal experiences with depression and antidepressants vary, but it's important to seek help if you're struggling with depression and to have a support system in place.

    The Importance of Consistent Medication for Improved Brain Function and Emotional Management

    Taking medication for mental health is a helpful daily habit that can improve brain and body function.It may take some time to adjust to the new chemical changes in the brain, and side effects like fatigue or feeling numb may occur.But with time and potential lifestyle changes, medication can lead to improvements in emotional management and a more manageable life.It is important to give the brain time to adjust to medication and to communicate with a healthcare provider about any concerns or side effects experienced.

    Withdrawal Symptoms Range from Mild to Severe

    Antidepressants can cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly and it's essential to seek healthcare advice before making any decision to stop.The withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, including sweating, trembling, vomiting, insomnia, extreme anxiety, confusion, and headaches, among others.Additionally, it is crucial to do thorough research before attempting alternative therapies and understand that the brain might become dependent on antidepressants, making it challenging to quit.It's important to make educated decisions and seek professional guidance to avoid potential complications.

    The Challenges of Antidepressant Withdrawal and the Need for Medication as a Safety Net

    Withdrawal from antidepressants can cause emotional and mental reactions, which can be challenging to handle.Taking antidepressants is not a temporary solution, and it becomes a part of your biological system.Going off them is not easy as it can cause awful symptoms, making it difficult to cope with life.While holistic healing is an excellent movement, adopting healthy practices, such as spending more time outdoors, can cost money and time.Sometimes, the safety net of medication is needed to help individuals live a healthy life.Depression is not always a chemical imbalance, but it can stem from life circumstances, perception, and cognition.

    Antidepressants: Weighing the Benefits and Risks

    Antidepressants are an important tool for treating mental health problems when used in combination with therapy, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution.It takes time for a person to feel the full effects of medication, and it is important to develop healthier ways of thinking and managing one's life alongside medication.Antidepressants can have amazing benefits, such as improving one's relationships and overall happiness, but there are also downsides, such as discontinuation syndrome.Ultimately, the decision to take medication should be made through research, consultation, and thoughtful consideration of the potential risks and benefits.

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