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Dealing with the Stigma of Antidepressants

man discusses stigma of antidepressants with counselor

Antidepressant medications are commonly prescribed to treat several different mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  They work by helping the brain build up a supply of neurotransmitters that provide a method of communication between cells and regulate mood. Unfortunately, antidepressants are often misunderstood and even demonized, and the stigma associated with these medications can cause people to opt-out of life-changing treatment.  By better understanding the way antidepressants work as well as their limitations, people struggling with mental health issues might become more willing to take advantage of modern medicine when seeking treatment. 

Medication Is Just One Tool in Your Toolbox 

A common misconception about antidepressants is that they are a quick fix or a “happy pill” that will artificially induce euphoria for the patient.  The reality is that antidepressants can take more than a month to start working, and some patients will try several types before they find the one that works for them.  While they are not designed to create an artificial sense of bliss, they can give a depressed or severely anxious person the motivation to create their own happiness by allowing them to pursue interests and activities that bring them joy.  Additionally, antidepressants are not meant to be taken as an all-encompassing solution to mental illness but should be used in conjunction with other wellness strategies such as physical exercise and talk therapy.

Find Your True Self

Another misleading fear surrounding antidepressants is that these medications somehow change your personality or the nature of what makes you who you are.  This idea perpetuates the stigma and insinuates that taking antidepressants will turn you into a mindless conformist. However, medical research finds that the opposite is true.  Antidepressants allow people with overactive minds and intrusive thoughts to find their mental center, helping them to focus on one thing at a time and enjoy the moment. This means you can spend more time on the people and passions that mean the most to you, and become a more authentic version of yourself.

Treatment for addiction often includes the treatment of co-occurring mental health issues.  If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental illness, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.