Antidepressant Addiction in California: Signs & Treatment

Dealing with life can be hard. Mental illness can make life even harder.

Some people use prescription antidepressants to deal with mental illness. These medications work by altering the levels of serotonin in the brain. Many scientists believe that serotonin relates to a person’s mood and happiness. Many people take prescription antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, and Paxil and claim that they have improved their overall mood.

Unfortunately, some users also become so accustomed to antidepressants that they might take more and more of them. Or they might take antidepressants longer than the recommended usage. Antidepressant use, then, can easily become antidepressant misuse. Antidepressant addiction treatment in California can address the physical and mental aspects of antidepressant dependency to help current users become former users.

Symptoms of Antidepressant Addiction

There are many different types of antidepressants on the market. Their ingredients are also different, and so are the people who take them. This means that different antidepressants can cause different side effects.

Even the same antidepressants can cause different reactions in different people. Symptoms of antidepressant addiction could vary from person to person. Antidepressant addicts might have other medical conditions that cause them to experience a variety of side effects. Or they just might simply react differently. Despite these variations, antidepressants do produce some side effects that are more common among many users, including:

  • vomiting and nausea
  • sexual problems
  • tremors
  • talkativeness

Since manufacturers create antidepressants to affect the brain, it is not surprising that other signs of antidepressant addiction relate to the brain:

  • insomnia
  • colorful dreams and hallucinations
  • mood swings
  • panic attacks
  • memory problems

Some of these side effects, such as panic attacks, resemble reasons why people starting using antidepressants in the first place. But this can create a vicious cycle:

  • Doctors prescribe antidepressants to curb users’ panic attacks.
  • Users may feel better for a time, but the panic attacks might return.
  • Users might take higher doses of the antidepressants to stop these panic attacks.
  • Users might feel better with these higher doses until the panic attacks return.
  • Users might take even higher doses of antidepressants to stop these panic attacks.

This cycle continues as users take ever-increasing doses and their antidepressant addiction in California progresses. When users are trapped in this cycle, they have developed a tolerance to antidepressants. Users in this cycle may think that they are okay. They might believe that tolerance means acceptance. Since their bodies have handled antidepressants in the past, users believe that their bodies can continue to do so in the future.

They could not be more wrong. Antidepressant abuse can cause overdoses and even death. Antidepressant addiction treatment in California can address and treat the physical and mental signs of antidepressant abuse and prevent such dire consequences.

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Signs of Antidepressant Addiction

Other side effects of antidepressant abuse are less common but can be deadly:

  • irregular heart rhythm
  • liver damage
  • seizures
  • salt imbalances in the blood

Abusing antidepressants can produce another, potentially dangerous side effect. It can produce serotonin syndrome, a condition in which too much serotonin can cause symptoms that range from confusion to unconsciousness.

Serotonin syndrome can also occur if addicts use more than one antidepressant or serotonin-altering substance at a time. Taking many substances as once, or polydrug abuse, is a bad idea. Antidepressants already alter processes in the brain. Using more antidepressants, or antidepressants with other drugs or alcohol, alters brain processes and other bodily functions even more. This increases the risk of side effects. It also increases the risks of injury, since using too many drugs or high dosages of drugs can incapacitate users.

Antidepressant addiction treatment in California monitors the use of drugs among addicts. It can help addicts who take antidepressants incorrectly, including addicts who abuse antidepressants and other drugs.

Detox of Antidepressants and Withdrawal of Antidepressants

Even if addicts have suffered from the signs of antidepressant addiction, there is hope for them. Detoxing, or removing antidepressants from their bodies, is a good first step.

A detox of antidepressants is not as easy as it sounds. Addicts cannot just stop taking antidepressants immediately and go about their usual business. If they did that, their bodies would react. Their bodies have become used to antidepressants and their effects on their bodies’ serotonin levels, so users could experience a withdrawal of antidepressants.

About twenty percent of antidepressant users experience antidepressant discontinuation syndrome when they stop taking antidepressants. Symptoms of this syndrome often resemble the flu and can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • extreme tiredness or insomnia
  • dizziness
  • coordination, muscle, and balance problems
  • headaches
  • feelings of being electrically shocked
  • tremors

Instead, antidepressant addiction treatment in California has a better strategy for antidepressant detox and withdrawal: slow and steady. Doctors at treatment centers gradually lower doses of antidepressants for their patients. This way, their patients’ bodies and brains still receive the antidepressants they crave but they become used to lower doses of the substances. Professionals at such centers might be able to prescribe medications or assist in other ways to help with the detox and withdrawal process.

Helping Others Address Their Antidepressant Addiction in California

If you know people who are dependent on antidepressants, you might feel overwhelmed with different emotions. You might be scared, angry, depressed, or just plain tired. Antidepressant abuse hurts more than just users—it can hurt their friends and families as well.

But hope is not lost. There are things that you can do to help your loved ones. These actions not only help your loved one but can help you as well:

  • Learn about addiction and antidepressants.
  • Share what you have learned with friends and family members.
  • Gather your friends and families to meet with the antidepressant users.
  • Stress that you love and support the users during this meeting.
  • Encourage the users to find treatment during your gathering.

During this meeting, families and friends could encourage users to find antidepressant addiction treatment in California. Monarch Shores can provide such treatment. It can help users find other ways to deal with life.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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