Antidepressants are not considered to be addictive drugs. However, those who take them for a long period of time can become dependent on them, which can potentially lead to severe withdrawal symptoms when one suddenly stops taking the drug. This can be avoided with antidepressant detox, which is a safe and often necessary medical treatment program for antidepressant rehab.
What Happens When Someone Quits Antidepressants?
Not enough emphasis is put on the danger of suddenly going off antidepressants, especially if you have been on them for a long time. These drugs can make people who have depressive feelings and symptoms feel good and stable but feeling good for so long can sometimes cause these individuals to suddenly feel they no longer need the drug. As a result, they may stop taking it without tapering their use safely, which can lead to a host of withdrawal symptoms.
Harvard Medical School states that going off antidepressants can cause “a range of symptoms,” including:
- Appetite problems
- Excessive flushing
- Sleep problems like insomnia, strange dreams, nightmares, etc.
- Coordination problems
- Restless legs
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Pain or numbness in extremities
- Brain zaps or shivers (which feel like a shock or tremor going through your brain)
When these side effects occur, people don’t always know why they are happening. It can be frightening and even hazardous to the individual’s health just like other types of unmanaged withdrawal.
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What are the Dangers of Antidepressant Withdrawal?
The biggest dangers associated with antidepressant withdrawal are usually the psychological and emotional effects. Individuals who suddenly stop taking antidepressants after coming to rely on them can experience intense depression very suddenly. This can include suicidal ideation, and many individuals are unequipped to deal with these symptoms, especially because they will not have been experiencing them for a long time while on the drug.
Anxiety, mania, and paranoia can all occur as well. The mood swings people experience during antidepressant withdrawal can be intense and sometimes dangerous. A person might not be able to tell when they are feeling well or when they are spiraling emotionally.
Like with other types of withdrawal, feeling uncoordinated, confused, etc. can be dangerous. People who are going through these effects might be especially in danger of harming themselves while out in public or while driving.
For these reasons, it is necessary that these symptoms be managed. According to the National Library of Medicine, doctors insist that patients stop taking these medications gradually and that patients must continue taking them even if they feel better. If these are not options—or if you or someone you love needs additional help—a detox treatment center might be the answer.
What is an Antidepressant Detox Center?
Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome relief is available in facilities like those that offer care for drug addiction and dependence. After all, a person who become dependent on these drugs will still require time, help, and a safe place to recover from this syndrome. Many people do not realize how dangerous antidepressant withdrawal can be, however, which is why these facilities are necessary.
Patients can be treated for this syndrome in inpatient detox centers. In most cases, this is a more effective option because these individuals are dealing with mental disorders in addition to drug dependency (also known as dual diagnosis). People with dual diagnosis often fare better in inpatient treatment centers as these facilities offer more treatment options as well as round-the-clock care.
An antidepressant detox center will also be able to help you consider the severity of other disorders from which you may be suffering, such as drug abuse. According to a 2014 study published in the medical journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, people do sometimes abuse antidepressants similarly to other prescription-based drugs.
Antidepressant detox centers can offer you time to be weaned off your medication or other treatments that will minimize your withdrawal symptoms. After you are stabilized, you can return to your day-to-day life.
Because antidepressants are not addictive, treatment can often start and end with detox. However, in the case of some individuals, further care will be necessary, so make sure you discuss your needs thoroughly with your care providers and that you seek the options that will be most suited to your safe recovery.
How Long Does Antidepressant Rehab Last?
Some individuals need up to six weeks to recover from antidepressant dependence, but certain facilities may only provide treatment for three to four weeks. In the case of lingering withdrawal symptoms, treatment may last longer, or patients may be taught specific skills or given certain medications to help them cope with their post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
Find Right Antidepressant Rehab Today
We are available 24/7 to speak on our hotline at 877-959-7271. Just call to find out more about the treatment options available near you as well as to learn more about recovery programs for yourself or someone you love.
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