Stories from antidepressant users are helpful to others

people

Antidepressants are not "happy pills," nor are they a quick fix.

In a series of frank, heartfelt video interviews, people who use antidepressants discuss their experiences and explain that it's not always easy.

Vastly different experiences

Some of the interviewees explain that finding the right medication can be instant relief, while others talk about unpleasant side effects, anxiety, loss of sex drive, headaches and an elusive feeing of detachment.

Some people found their ideal prescription right away while others took years. Some say they are still looking.

"I sort of expected to feel 'happy' because the media were dubbing antidepressants as 'happy pills,'" said 36-year-old Jenny, who first experienced depression as a teenager. "I now know that they don't stop me feeling down when it is natural to feel down; rather they prevent me from getting stuck down there."

Value of sharing stories

The research project by Oxford University and the University of Nottingham is published on Healthtalkonline.org. More than 30 people share their stories.

"This project will be important for educating both patients and healthcare professionals about what it is actually like to take antidepressants,” explained Clarie Anderson, Professor of Social Pharmacy at Nottingham University. "When prescribed an antidepressant for the first time people often want to know more about what to expect; how they might feel when they are taking them, how long they take to work, how long they should expect to take them for and about potential side effects. People value being able to hear about other people's experiences."

Sources: MedicalNewsToday, Healthtalkonline.com

 
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