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Depression: Side Effects and Relapses

Side effects, relapses and up and down days with depression.


Side Effects of Medication

One of the most common reasons people stop taking antidepressants is because of the side effects that are associated with them.

These can vary from person to person but the most common side effects of antidepressants are:

  • Headaches
  • Sight abdominal discomfort
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Slightly more aggressive behavior than normal
  • Temporary increase in sad or negative thoughts
  • Fluid retention
  • Indigestion and/or heartburn
  • Tiredness or dizziness
  • Shaky hands
  • Sleep problems and vivid dreams.
  • Mild memory problems and/or lack of concentration.

As I said before, the side effects will vary and you may experience one or two of these, but you may experience none. Just because it's on the list doesn't mean that you will get it, the list is only there because they are POSSIBLE side effects. But no matter how unpleasant these side effects are, you must persevere with the tablets because they will help you so much.

Most people only experience mild side effects but if you find that the effects that you are experiencing are severe then you must consult your doctor. Do not simply stop taking them because this could prove dangerous. Your doctor will be able to find you some medication that suits you better, so don't think that if they have prescribed you one certain tablet then you have to have it no matter what. Your doctor will talk to you and find you the right medicine. Remember that these side effects are only temporary and they will gradually get better as your body becomes used to the medicine.

Up and Down Days

We all have them, depressed or not, but if you do happen to have depression then they can be that much worse. But that does not mean that if you or someone you know is having a bad day, they are immediately going to have a downward spiral. I'm not saying it doesn't happen because it does, but sometimes people are just having a bit of a rubbish day. It's perfectly normal and happens to everyone dealing with depression.

And even if someone is a bit down, or having a bit of a slump, it doesn't necessarily mean that it has anything to do with their depression. It could be that someone or something has really annoyed or upset them, someone I used to know always blamed my depression, if I got angry or upset with anything, they never failed to ask the "have you been taking your pills?" question and it made me want to scream! Life makes you upset and angry sometimes, not everything is about the depression.

Dealing with down days is something that will be different for everybody. But once you find something that works, that lifts your spirits and makes you genuinely smile then keep hold of it. Don't ever let anyone tell you it is stupid or a waste of time. People used to make fun of me for liking Doctor Who as much as I did, but I knew how much more positive and upbeat I felt by the end of each episode.

And if someone you know with depression develops an interest in a certain thing, and it clearly makes them happy, then leave them to it!

Relapses

It happens to just about everyone that suffers with depression. You are feeling as though you are on the right track, only for the feelings of negativity and despair to creep back up on you.

You may suffer a mild relapse or you may find that it is more severe, but the most important thing to remember is that it is temporary.

You may feel like you are getting nowhere and that carrying on with treatment would be pointless because it isn't helping, but it is. The treatment and help you have available to you will be the thing that gets you through this, the thing that stops you from giving up altogether, or worse.

Not everyone will suffer a relapse but enough people do to make it an important issue.

There is no doubt about it, relapses are hard. And the reason I think that they are so hard is because you genuinely feel like you are getting better for a while, and then that feeling is snatched away, leaving you feeling alone and scared again.

If you begin to feel like this then it is certainly worth talking to your doctor or nurse, they will be able to advise you of the best thing to do in your situation. Without the nurse practitioner at my local surgery, I really don't think I would be here now.

And the same as before, if you feel like you can not talk to anyone then simply pick up the phone and call one of the many help lines available, or go online to a forum or website, they are there to listen to you.

Only you can recognize the signs of slipping backwards because they will be individual to you, but it is important to take action as soon as possible, the longer you leave it the further back you could potentially slide. Nipping it in the bud will be easier than leaving it. 

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