Can you stay on antidepressants for life?

For people with chronic or severe depression, medication may be needed on a long-term basis. In these cases, antidepressants are often taken indefinitely. That is, in part, because depression is not an illness that can be cured.

What happens if you take antidepressants for years?

Those who had used antidepressants for >3 years reported more severe side effects, including “weight gain”, “addiction”, “feeling not like myself ”, “withdrawal symptoms”, and “suicidality”, than those who had been on antidepressants for ≤2 years.

How long can I stay on antidepressants?

It's usually recommended that a course of antidepressants continues for at least 6 months after you feel better, to prevent your condition recurring when you stop. Some people with recurrent illness are advised to carry on taking medicine indefinitely.

Are antidepressants OK long-term?

Antidepressants, specifically SSRIs which are considered the most tolerable and are therefore the most prescribed, are generally safe to take long-term.

Do people stay on antidepressants for years?

Many people with depression continue taking antidepressant drugs for months or even years after their symptoms have resolved. This so-called maintenance therapy aims to reduce the risk of relapse.

Will I Take Antidepressants Forever?

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

If the symptoms develop later or gradually, they may constitute a relapse of the depression. Ultimately, these withdrawal symptoms will improve with time, but they can be unpleasant for days and possibly even weeks. In time, the brain readjusts and people should experience a return to their normal state.

Can antidepressants stop working after 20 years?

If you feel like your antidepressant has stopped working, you're not alone. It's common for a medication that once worked wonders to become ineffective, especially if you've been taking it for a long time. Symptoms return for up to 33% of people using antidepressants — it's called breakthrough depression.

Can you take SSRIs forever?

And luckily, as long as the benefits of the medication outweigh the potential side effects, there's no strong evidence that long-term use of SSRIs poses any major problems. “These medications have been around for decades,” says Dr. Jin Hee Yoon-Hudman, a psychiatrist and medical advisor at Minded.

Does depression come back after stopping antidepressants?

You may be tempted to stop taking antidepressants as soon as your symptoms ease, but depression can return if you quit too soon. Clinicians generally recommend staying on the medication for six to nine months before considering going off antidepressants.

How do you know when to stop taking antidepressants?

Stopping antidepressants suddenly is not dangerous but you could get withdrawal symptoms or become unwell again if you make a sudden change. If you can, stop your antidepressant when you have felt better for the last six months on medication. Plan in advance to cut down your dose gradually.

When should you stop taking your antidepressants?

Your doctor might recommend stopping your antidepressant if: You're feeling better, and you and the doctor agree that it's time to stop. You have been taking the medicine for at least 6 months.

Why is it so hard to get off antidepressants?

“There are a lot of biochemical mechanisms in the body to keep our neurotransmitters stable,” he says. “Taking an SSRI perturbs that system.” Withdrawal symptoms might actually be the result of the body struggling to recover its natural serotonin balance, he adds, “desperately trying to get things back to normal.”

Will I become dependent on antidepressants?

Antidepressant medications are not addictive, but the body becomes accustomed to them with prolonged use. If a person stops taking them suddenly, they can experience symptoms of withdrawal or antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.

Why do people stop taking antidepressants?

They work by changing how the brain uses chemicals to balance mood or deal with stress. When people start taking antidepressants, the drugs can take several weeks or longer to be effective. Antidepressants can also have side effects. Both of these factors can make a person want to stop taking them.

How long is the average person on SSRI?

It's usually recommended that a course of SSRIs continues for at least 6 months after you feel better, to prevent your condition coming back when you stop. However, if you've experienced previous episodes of depression, a 2-year course may be recommended.

Can you be on anxiety medication for life?

7) Do I have to take my anxiety medication for life? Not always. It depends on your symptoms and how controlled they become over time. As mentioned, if you're taking an antidepressant, it may take a few weeks before your symptoms improve.

Can I take sertraline for life?

Speak to your doctor if you are worried. Taking sertraline for more than a year has also been linked to a small increased risk of getting diabetes. You'll be regularly checked for this. Otherwise there do not seem to be any lasting harmful effects from taking sertraline for many months and years.

Do you feel better after stopping antidepressants?

Although you might expect to feel better after stopping an antidepressant (especially if it was causing unwanted side effects), many people have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can even be similar to what you experienced before you started the medication. Common antidepressant withdrawal symptoms include: dizziness.

Are all antidepressants hard to get off at?

The few studies of antidepressant withdrawal that have been published suggest that it is harder to get off some medications than others. This is due to differences in the drugs' half-life — the time it takes the body to clear the medication once the pills are stopped.

Are brain changes from depression permanent?

Depression and mood disorders are characterized by structural as well as neurochemical alterations in the brain. However, these changes are not permanent, and can be blocked or reversed with behavioral and pharmacological treatments.

Is there an alternative to antidepressants?

Exercise. Research suggests that regular exercise may be a more effective treatment for mild depression than antidepressants. Exercise helps boost levels of chemicals called serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which can lift your mood.

Do you feel happier on antidepressants?

Taking antidepressants may help to lift your mood. This can help you feel more able to do things that don't feel possible while you're depressed. This may include using other types of support for your mental health.

Why is everyone on antidepressants?

Perhaps the fundamental reason why antidepressants are so widely prescribed and used is that they fit with the 'medical model' of mental illness, which has become the standard view in western culture. This model sees depression as a medical condition which can be “fixed” in the same way as a physical injury or illness.

Do antidepressants leave you emotionless?

Nearly half of patients on all types of monoaminergic antidepressants report emotional blunting,6 and it is associated with serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) therapy as follows: among 161 patients, 46% reported a narrowed range of affect, 21% reported an inability to cry, and 19% reported apathy.

Can your body build tolerance to antidepressants?

“If you've been on an antidepressant for a long time, your body may develop a tolerance,” notes Hullett. As a result, a medication that once worked well at quelling your sadness, anxiety, and other symptom no longer has that power. Sometimes, Hullett says, increasing the dose under supervision by your doctor may help.