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There is the possibility of worsening suicidal thoughts and depression in people especially children who take any popular antidepressants especially when the treatment is beginning or due to an increase or decrease in doses. Drug manufacturers have been requested to make changes on the labels of antidepressants so that they can include a warning about worsening depression, possible suicide, panic attacks, and anxiety in children and adults. Drugs may be responsible for changes in behavior but families and physicians are supposed to be aware of emerging behavior and look for treatment immediately.
Signs of worsening depression should be looked at but some symptoms may signify problems such as agitation, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, hostility, irritability, and severe restlessness. People may have manic depression without knowing and antidepressants have the potential to provoke any manic episode. Family members, patients, and doctors should be keen on the symptoms of mania which include feeling very irritable or extremely happy, having inflated self-esteem, being active than usual, and needing to sleep so much. (Kafka, 1991 pp34-35)
Treatment for Antidepressant Addiction/Abuse
Sadness should not be taken to mean depression and should be differentiated from melancholia with no social cause that is obvious. Sadness is a natural response to painful circumstances and should take its cause to heal instead of using drugs to suppress it. From experience, we should be more understanding of people and encourage them because we have already passed through various difficult situations. Involution melancholia that causes a person to feel inner emptiness has great effect and is treated using drugs or by electro-convulsive therapy but should only be used as the last resort but not the first resort especially when there is the availability of non-invasive treatments like Twelve Step Program.
Involution melancholia may occur during the post-puerperal depression, addictive disease, and post-traumatic depression and in cases of true clinical depression if the condition that exists is distinct from addictive tendency. Using the word depression in any diagnosis is very risky because it may cause the patient to be given an automatic prescription for antidepressants especially in private health centers when the medical insurance companies have restrictions on giving medical cover for patients who need medication. Clinical depression results have been vastly over-diagnosed and there are vastly over-prescribed antidepressants.
Brain biochemistry knowledge is at its early stages of advancement and is preferable for the patients, pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs should be avoided. The best solution is total abstinence from substances and the later moods to allow the brain an uncluttered opportunity to get healed. The doctors’ natural healthy instinct is to take people away from drugs of all types rather than put them on medication apart from constructive talking therapies for enhancing self-efficacy. (Kafka, 1991 pp36-39)
People who suffer from involution melancholia can discover their mood-altering properties for some processes and substances that include properties for altering moods of prescribed medications such as sleeping tablets, painkillers, and antidepressants. These people are ten percent of the population who can not do without processes and substances for altering moods because they believe that they can be completely different without them or feel lonely and desperately depressed but at the same time they can not be able to do without them due to their cumulative damaging effects.
These people end up becoming dependent upon drugs and they are referred to as addicts where the tendency towards these addictions is diagnosed in children who are young and overt addiction is the diagnosis made in adults even before the occurrence of any damage because any tendency before addiction is noticed before any drug is used and before the person becomes depressed or addicted. People who are drug addicts are always depressed and those who are depressed are addicts who may not have used substances for altering moods addictively.
The concept used for dual diagnosis with depression and addiction is tautologies where depressed addicts undermine the effectiveness of drugs and used substances for altering moods such as nicotine or processes such as addictive relationships where other people are used like they are drugs but substances and processes for altering moods are only used to relief moods temporary and once its effects wear off, depression returns hence they need to be used continuously.
Treating antidepressant addicts is contraindicated in most circumstances. Depressed addicts need to have a proper examination of their addictive behavior to be able to abstain from processes and substances for altering moods fully. The Twelve Step Program needs to be worked on continuously without making any assumption that reciting Twelve Steps during any meeting is a sufficient way of achieving recovery. There is the existence of Emotions Anonymous for the people who have not used substances for altering mood as a treatment for their depression. (Schmidt, 2003 pp27-28)
Antidepressants are taken to reduce the range of experienced feelings. When addicts are given counseling, they feel encouraged and are in a position to experience all their feelings both pleasant and unpleasant and they can make use of their feeling as indicators as to whether they have behavior that is consistent with their true values.
It is ineffective to try and counsel addicts who are already using antidepressants because they should be given education based on basic facts such as the risks and effects of making use of processes and substances that they already know. Addicts can act only on their feelings instead of using intellectual understanding and there would not be compulsion if it is a deficit of knowledge. Therefore, educational counseling does not help to grip addictive disease in the addicts even if it can be used in changing specific behaviors.
The significant problem in prescribing antidepressants is that they are addictive in themselves and are drugs for altering moods. They do not cause addiction other than alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, or cocaine but people who are not necessarily addicts used them non-addictively.
This is true for alcohol that is taken heavily by people and regularly without becoming alcoholic. People need to be aware of the impaired judgment they have by using alcohol which can lead to damage to themselves and other people although they do not become alcoholics. The diagnosis of alcoholism is on why those who suffer use it but not the amount of alcohol they drink. Correspondingly, mood-altering substances are used by people but they are not addicted to them although they cause damage to other people. (Schmidt, 2003 pp25-26)
There is a view that there is the likelihood of addicts being born but not being made. Tendency to be addictive is in the genes but not a product of any social circumstance, habit, or upbringing that is out of control. Some in-born defects may be in the neurotransmission system in mood centers found in the brain. The concept of people who are addicts having experimented with substances for altering moods unwisely leading to loss of control is true with very few people.
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Many people have unwise experiments but do not lead to loss of control. If alcohol is considered a dangerous drug and kills many hundreds of people and yet have no damaging effects on millions of people. The population that is addictive is very distinct from the whole population in general and this can be determined using a questionnaire to assist in collecting that data. Damage caused by addictive substances is dose-related but it can be fallacious to assume that the greatest quantities are used by addicts.
Giving the addicts antidepressants worsens their problem rather than making it better because one problem is disguised but another one is created. Antidepressants are the blunderbuss therapy that blasts neurotransmission systems leading to no residual capacity to delicate fluctuations of feelings that help in giving life color in trying to respond to varying effects of the daily experiences. When people are given a prescription for antidepressants they feel better because that is what the drugs are made to do.
They feel better on nicotine, cannabis, heroin, and alcohol or substances for altering mood. Antidepressant chemistry has an important feature due to the time it takes to take action where the time taken is long for them to be effective because it is measured using weeks instead of minutes in case of alcohol and cocaine uses seconds and the time is taken to wear off is long before withdrawal symptoms can set in and they are very severe when they set in. (Schmidt, 2003 pp23-24)
The peculiarity in the time scale for initial effects for altering moods and antidepressant subsequent withdrawal symptoms confuses two significant areas. Firstly, addicts of recreational drugs do not use antidepressants primarily because they take a very long period to act but this does not imply that they are not addictive. Antidepressant addictive nature is witnessed in high relapse rate when addicts are recovering from their prescription after the drugs are withdrawn.
Antidepressants can perpetuate the state of active addiction instead of alleviating it. Many addicts who are recovering have tried to use other substances saying that they have never encountered significant problems after using them but later on they realize that they were forced into the full-scale addiction. For example, people who smoke cigarettes can do without other drugs for a long time. When one has a prescription for Methadone, the recovery is severely questionable if twelve-step programs are worked on. Methadone Anonymous exist if people want to use it rather than leaving it which serves as counter-productive to recovery and maintaining resentment to the family of origin at the same time attending the meetings.
There is a second area of confusion as a result of antidepressant action having a long time scale where withdrawal symptoms do not occur immediately after taking them but two weeks after taking them. During this time, the symptoms may appear as if there is a need for an antidepressant to have further prescription instead of taking it to be the withdrawal symptoms. A similar mistake is made by alcoholics who have hangovers where the treatment they need is to have another drink and cigarette smokers feel that they need to take another cigarette to be able to cover withdrawal symptoms.
There is a major problem seen with antidepressants when the patient tries to stop using them and without succumbing to any other form of addiction. This is also true with Methadone but risks and withdrawal symptoms in getting alternative outlets for the addiction consist of part of any addiction. If symptoms for physical withdrawal from cocaine are absent, then doctors concluded that it is non-addictive. The psychological effects of withdrawal from cocaine are severe for people with a disease that is addictive by nature than those who make use of cocaine recreationally during occasions. (Brady, 1995 pp14-16)
Patients are not advised by doctors to use cocaine permanently or alcohol in high quantities but the advice given is for patients to be able to remain permanently or for a long time on antidepressants. This may be a complete misunderstanding of addiction and the recovery and disregarding sanctity of the brain of a human being because gains on the price of chemical dependency can take away emotional life.
Treatment for antidepressant addiction is most difficult in all addictions because of failing to understand its true nature and doctors inadvertently work against clinical interests that are best for their patients. When doctors are faced with suicide prospects, they give prescriptions so that they can be seen as if they are doing something. However, when successful suicide used antidepressants, blame is not on the doctor because the doctor has already done his best in trying to save the patient. When drugs for altering moods are prescribed, it is less likely for a patient to get a solution to external and internal problems due to artificial induction of a sense of equanimity.
The best treatment lies in time and understanding together with total abstinence and allowing the working of homeostatic powers of the brain in doing its magic so that the patients are in apposition to experience human feeling in the whole range and enjoy their lives fully. Hypothesis by the research team shows that the effect of methamphetamine is reduced by bupropion where the drug is prevented from entering the brain cells by the release of neurotransmitters causing the feeling of euphoria. The key component is having effective ways of treating methamphetamine addiction in controlling ongoing addiction of the epidemic. (Brady, 1995 pp12-13)
Antidepressant-like Prozac makes healthy people who had no history of having a mental illness feel violent. there is a warning that the study tried to stop people from using the drug to treat depression but it made many people worse meaning that the drug must be licensed and used to offer long term treatment for depression because participants who were in the trial suffered many withdrawal symptoms and the drug had warnings that people who used it experienced unusual and violent thoughts that were linked to the drug but not their condition. Treatment given by doctors’ was for the people who had the symptoms after stopping to use the drugs but because the underlying problem had cleared up, the symptoms could have been due to withdrawal. (Brady, 1995 pp17-18)
Kafka M. (1991): successful antidepressant treatment: The Journal of clinical psychiatry, pp. 34- 39.
Schmidt F. (2003): Long-term treatment with antidepressant drugs: Journal of psychology, pp. 23-28.
Brady R. (1995): Antidepressant treatment in Methadone maintenance patients: Experimental Therapeutics, pp. 12-18.