Anti-D or anti-me?

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Whether it’s genetics or situational, dealing with depression and antidepressants is never an easy battle.

While we often only see the benefits of antidepressants on television, we rarely see the side effects and the downsides to coming off them.

So what is the goal of taking antidepressants?

With antidepressants that serve as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, the goal is to help brain cells communicate more effectively with one another, by blocking the absorption of serotonin in the brain, according to medicalnewstoday.com.

Antidepressants can be prescribed for an array of mental health issues, and generally help alleviate anxiety too.

However, as wonderful as it may seem that simply taking a pill can help you to feel better and lessen both anxiety and depression, such a wonderful drug does come with a cost.

While oftentimes antidepressants may be necessary, and can help alleviate your symptoms of depression and anxiety, they also come with a lot of side effects and the possibility of withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug.

In an article from everyhealth.com, written by Chris Lliades M.D., titled “7 antidepressant side effects,” Lliades discusses some of the most common symptoms of antidepressants, specifically SSRI’s.

With forty percent of people experiencing side effects, according to the journal of psychiatry, with two of the most common side effects, affecting libido and weight.

As for seven of the symptoms associate with antidepressants, Lliades deems them as physical symptoms, such as nausea, headaches or joint pain,nightmares or difficulty waking up and falling asleep.

Dealing with a sense of “daytime drowsiness and feeling out of it during the day, as well as other side effects such as migraines and weight gain.

While the side effects of SSRI’S can be rather difficult to deal with, the withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms you can experience in getting off of them can be much worse.

In a Harvard University Health article, a discussion of the difficulties of choosing to not take an antidepressant from any reason and the difficulties that follow.

As the SSRI drug is leaving your system you can experience everything from digestive issues, blood vessel control, sleep changes, balance, control of movements, unwanted feelings and strange sensations, according to healthharvard.edu.

Although it can be rather unpleasant dealing with the side effects of anti-depressant withdrawal, there are other ways you can find comfort through natural remedies.

By exercising you can increase your dopamine levels, maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight gained from an anti-depressant), as well as silence insomnia. Finding a new hobby can serve as a positive distraction and can help keep you busy, by giving you zero downtime for overthinking. When battling depression, it is also very important to make sure you get out of your house from time to time, to help change your environment, whether its walking the dog or visiting a friend. Through mindfulness activities such as guided meditation or completing tasks around the house, you can achieve a sort of mental pause, which helps to calm anxiety by teaching you to focus on one thing at a time. There are all sorts of ways you can help ease and/or conquer depression whether it involves taking a pill or not.

No one should ever feel like antidepressants are the only way to beat depression, antidepressants might not be for everyone, but finding a solution is, regardless of which one works best for you.