Psychotherapy helps treat clinical depression, but you also need to take antidepressants to keep your symptoms under control. 4 out of 10 patients notice positive results with the very first antidepressant they try. The good thing is that even when the first antidepressant medication does not prove effective, the second or third usually does.
While antidepressants really help control symptoms, many people do not try them because of many misconceptions they have about the use of these medications. They often wonder what it would be like to take antidepressants and if they would become addicted to antidepressants or not.
What Do Antidepressants Feel Like?
This is actually a broad question and the answer depends on several variables. How you feel after taking antidepressants may be completely different from the experience of another person. Moreover, the answer depends on your disorder/illness, the medication selected for you as well as the dosage.
Different types of antidepressants may produce different signs. Some of these medications make you shake, while others make you feel as if you are floating. There are some that may give you a sense of self-identification and calmness.
Here are some real experiences of people who have taken antidepressants – this will really help you find an answer to "What do antidepressants feel like?"
"How you feel can vary a lot. Sometimes, it feels I'm in a new world where everything is clean and bright, but on other occasions, it feels as if my soul is wrapped in gauze. It feels as if nothing is going to faze me, but I still prefer this emotional anesthesia to the depression. Sometimes, it really bothers me that I have to drug my brain into being happy. It makes me hate myself and feel depressed once again. But, that usually indicates that your medication is no longer doing its job and it is time to go to your doctor again." --Ian Morgan
"From the moment I started taking my antidepressant until today, things are only getting better for me. My symptoms have improved greatly; in fact, many of my symptoms are no longer present. However, I am still waiting for that 'exaggerated happiness' that many people talk about after taking antidepressants. I really believe what antidepressants feel like varies from person to person." --Luis Lara
"I believe how you feel depends on the type of antidepressant you are taking. I had to try many to find what eventually started working for me. When I take it, I feel better. I am just me – no anxiety, no crazy, no crushing darkness, and no sense of impending doom. I believe that new drugs are much better because drugs like Escitalopram have fewer side effects and deliver results even when taken at lower dosages." --Rich Canino
Some Facts to Antidepressants You Must Know
What do antidepressants feel like? It is a common question, but there are other common concerns about the use of antidepressants. Here are some facts related to these medications:
1. Antidepressants Do Not Change Your Personality
That is the case, at least when you take antidepressants correctly. You are not going to turn into a zombie after including an antidepressant in your routine. In fact, you will have better control over your emotions and be able to return to your normal activities. In rare cases, you may notice loss of emotions after taking antidepressants, but that usually means you need to try a different one.
2. Antidepressants Do Not Always Lead to Weight Gain
There are certain side effects associated with antidepressants and some antidepressants may lead to weight gain, but that is not always the case. Certain antidepressants do not cause this side effect, and there are some that may actually make you lose some weight. Discuss it with your doctor if you are concerned about gaining weight.
3. Antidepressants Are Not for the Rest of Your Life
Many people think you just cannot live without antidepressants once you start taking them. That is not the case actually. In most cases, you have to take an antidepressant for 6-9 months only. You can work with your doctor and decide to stop your medication if you believe your depression is now under control. The only thing is to discontinue the use gradually. If you stop taking them suddenly, you may have to deal with dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
4. Antidepressants Do Not Result in Lower Libido
That is true in most of the cases, especially if you are taking newly available antidepressants. Some of these medications may affect your sex life to a certain extent, but even then, they do not affect the desire for sex. You may experience some problems having an orgasm. Understand that your sex life will automatically suffer when you are under depression, so a medication that eases depression is actually going to help improve your sex life to some extent.
5. Antidepressants Are Not Drugs
While antidepressants are usually called 'drugs', they are by no means euphoria-inducing recreational drugs. They only help correct any imbalance in certain brain chemicals, which means that someone who does not have depression is not going to feel anything after taking antidepressants. Therefore, antidepressants are certainly not the "happy pills", as many people think them to be.
6. Antidepressants May Not Work Right Away
In many cases, you start to feel better when you take an antidepressant for the very first time. Sometimes, you have to experiment a bit to find what suits you the most. In that case, you are not going to notice any results right away. Nevertheless, it is important to take an antidepressant for at least 4-6 weeks to determine its effects.