Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Can You Get Addicted To Depression Meds

Tip : Change Your Beliefs

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If you self-medicate your moods and emotions, chances are you look at your substance use in ways that make it seem more useful than it really is. For example, you may, like many people, drink alcohol as a nightcap to help you sleep. But while it can help you to fall asleep faster, alcohol will also disrupt your sleep. It can necessitate extra trips to the bathroom, aggravate breathing problems, interfere with the restorative REM-sleep phase of your sleep, and cause you to wake up earlier than normal. All this adds up to a poor quality nights sleep. By skipping the nightcap, it may take you longer to fall asleep but youll sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed and well-rested.

Similarly, you may use alcohol to improve your mood or as a coping mechanism for anxiety. While a few drinks can have the desired effectmaking you feel happier or less anxiousbecause alcohol is a depressant, it will ultimately make you more anxious and depressed. Regular alcohol use depresses the central nervous system and decreases the levels of the brain chemical serotonin, leaving you feeling sadder and more prone to worrying than before.

Get Help For A Dual Diagnosis

Without proper treatment for a dual diagnosis like depression and addiction, the conditions may continue to recur and impact your quality of life. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.

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Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

Clinically Reviewed:

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Is Sleep Addiction A Real Condition

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, the average adult requires at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This refers to actual sleep, not just time spent in bed.

When you consistently dont feel rested after a 7-hour sleep and crave naps during the day, you may begin to feel like you have a sleep addiction.

However, excessive drowsiness could be a sign of another issue. For instance, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety or certain medications can have a similar effect.

An addiction is a brain disorder that involves compulsively craving a substance or behavior that may lead to the obsessive pursuit of a reward or payoff.

According to the National Health Service , addiction is most commonly associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol and smoking, but its possible to be addicted to just about anything.

But can this apply to sleep?

According to Gregory Potter, one of the United Kingdoms leading specialists in nutrition, sleep, circadian rhythms, and metabolism, probably not.

Sleep addiction is not a medically recognized condition, he says.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, people with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

Sleep is a biological function and isnt fundamentally harmful.

, psychotherapist at Plumm, agrees.

In short, you probably cant be addicted to sleep.

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Potential Side Effects Of Anxiety Medication

Anxiety meds are designed to depress the nervous system, since that is the part of the body that fights your anxiety and can make you feel like youre dying. Anxiety can present as a racing heart, dizziness, chest pains, sweating, numbness, tingling, breathing difficulties, and more.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from anxiety also have depression, and benzodiazepines can make depression worse. The emotional numbness these medications produce keep anxiety and panic at bay, but they also hide the feelings and emotions a person is having the source of their anxiety to begin with.

Physical tolerance to a drug like Xanax or Klonopin can happen quickly, and users typically need more of the drug after a few months to achieve the same effects they got from a smaller dose at the start.

Anyone who wants to stop one of these medications is likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop abruptly, including increased anxiety, depression, confusion, restlessness, and physical symptoms like insomnia, sweating, pounding heart, shaking, and more.

Understanding Antidepressants And Their Abuse

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Our understanding of mental health is constantly growing, which means that more people are seeking treatment for mental health issues. Antidepressants are a first-line treatment for many mental health disorders, but there are risks that come with their use.

With prescription drug addiction currently one of the biggest health concerns in the country, it is certainly logical to question whether antidepressants can lead to addiction. Understanding what antidepressants are and how they work can help answer this question.

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Is It Another Condition

Currently, no academic paper recognizes sleep as an addiction, Bodiu notes. However, she adds that excessive sleeping can be caused by other conditions.

Hypersomnias are recognized sleep disorders characterized by long sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, or both, Potter says. Excessive daytime sleepiness can also be caused by other conditions.

These include:

In some cases, hypersomnia can lead to other conditions like:

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • clinical depression

You may also be excessively tired due to poor sleeping habits, a disrupted sleep schedule, or behaviors during the day.

Bodiu notes that if the body is craving sleep, its likely that you really need it.

Your body wants as much sleep as it needs, naturally waking you up when its well rested, she says. The hormones involved in our sleep cycles identify when the body needs to repair, rejuvenate, and recharge and so in effect puts us into snooze mode.

If you still want to nap after a full nights sleep, Bodiu says it may point to an issue with sleep quality.

Ongoing Support While Quitting Prozac

It is important to remember that as Prozac is tapered, the symptoms that the medication was used to treat may return. A person who used fluoxetine for major depressive disorder may experience symptoms of depression again. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience more intrusive thoughts. These symptoms should be monitored and managed if they occur. In some cases, a person may need to discuss the pros and cons of ending fluoxetine use with their physician, as ending the use of the drug may be worse than staying on it.

People who want to end Prozac use should also continue with other treatments that they have received for their respective conditions. Therapy, counseling, educational services, and social support should all be in place before a person begins to end Prozac use, just in case the symptoms of the condition reappear. These services will help the person manage those symptoms as they taper the drug. If a person has not required services for a while due to the condition being stable, they should make sure to re-establish contact with service providers before tapering Prozac. Periodic monitoring by a therapist or counselor may help the patient and physician to manage symptoms and to determine how stable the patients condition is overall as the drug is tapered.

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Sleep Addiction Vs Sleeping Pill Addiction

While most experts agree that a straightforward sleep addiction is not a medical condition, it is possible to develop an addiction to sleeping pills. This can lead to symptoms of hypersomnia.

Sleeping pills can successfully treat short-term insomnia, Bodiu says. When used correctly under the direction of a medical professional, they are unlikely to have a serious negative impact.

However, most medications run the risk of dependence.

In addition, you may not realize youre dependent on a medication until you build a tolerance to the dosage or experience withdrawal symptoms from stopping use.

Signs and symptoms of sleeping pill addiction can include:

  • memory problems
  • coordination problems
  • sleep disorders such as sleep walking

Addiction usually happens over time, so sleeping pills should only be taken for short-term treatment, Bodiu advises.

Depending on the type of drug and how long you take it, it may be safer to wean yourself off as opposed to stopping cold turkey.

In either case, always seek the support of a medical professional to help you through the process.

Is There A Certain Comfortable Familiarity With Being Dissatisfied

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A basic assumption of human behavior is that people pursue pleasure and seek to avoid pain. Why is it, then, that some people seem content to wallow in their misery, even boasting about it as some sort of badge of honor? Even when given steps to improve their lives, they seem to prefer to continue complaining.

Is there a certain comfortable familiarity with being dissatisfied that becomes an obstacle to change? After getting a glimpse of joy, why do some people immediately shift back to what doesn’t work?

There are a number of possible explanations for this addiction to unhappiness:

Then theres the theory that people like negative feelings. A study by Eduardo Andrade and Joel Cohen, which evaluated why people enjoy horror movies, concluded that some viewers are happy to be unhappy. The researchers found that people experience both negative and positive emotions at the same time, meaning they not only enjoy the relief they feel when the threat is removed but also enjoy being scared. This same theory, they argued, may help explain why humans are drawn to extreme sports and other risky activities that elicit terror or disgust.

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Long Term Effects Of Prozac

If taken as prescribed by a physician, Prozac is generally safe to use for the conditions mentioned above. Fluoxetine and other antidepressants were originally designed to be taken for a short term. However, many physicians and psychiatrists have continued to prescribe these medications for people who have taken them for years. A data analysis completed by The New York Times, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that almost 7 percent of adults in the United States have taken prescription antidepressants for at least 5 years. White women over the age of 45 made up 58 percent of this group.8

Do You Feel Depressed

Many prescription opioid abusers may turn to using heroin, as it often more available and cheaper. Heroin is an incredibly strong opiate, with roughly one-fourth of users becoming addicted to the drug Heroin use in the United States has roughly doubled in the last ten years.4 This addiction can lead to the feelings of hopelessness, despair and guilt often associated with depression, and researchers have estimated that 48% of people dependent on the drug will also experience depression. Heroin users are also at increased risk of suicide, with death by suicide among users reaching 35% percent. 5 For those who have this dual diagnosis, treatment should be tailored to address both conditions.

Researchers think that depression may stem from how opioids cause changes in the brains reward and pleasure system as well as hormone levels. They also suggest that opioids are less effective if a person suffers from depression, which can lead to increased use to achieve the desired effect.6 Researchers recommend that physicians or other medical professionals screen patients for symptoms of depression prior to giving them an opioid prescription.

Signs of depression can include:7

  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Depressed mood or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt or despair
  • Lack of energy
  • Suicidal thoughts

Signs of Opioid Addiction can include:

If youre not sure whether youre abusing opioids, you can ask yourself the following questions:8

Finding Treatment

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Do I Need This Treatment

If you are distressed for more than two weeks by feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness, or by excessive worry that is hard to control, see a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms and situation and to discuss treatment and support options. Early treatment can help to ensure treatment success.

Be sure your doctor knows if you have had times where you felt a reduced need for sleep in combination with an unusual amount of energy, or where your mood changed from feeling depressed to feeling unusually happy or irritable. Mood stabilizer medications may be more suited to your needs, either on their own or in combination with antidepressants. Antidepressants alone can cause some people to switch from depression into mania.

Medications are only one way of treating depression and anxiety. Talk therapies, such as interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy, can be just as effective. Peer support, school and job counselling, and housing and employment supports can also help to deal with problems that may trigger or worsen depression or anxiety.

No You Arent A Drug Addict If You Take Antidepressants

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Addiction or dependence? Words have meaning and when it comes to something as serious as addiction, getting them right matters.

If youve read the L.A. Times recently, you might have come across an op-ed by journalist David Lazarus, who conflates his dependence on antidepressant medication with addiction. In the piece, Lazarus proclaims, I am an addict.

The problem is, what he was describing isnt actually addiction.

For starters, addiction and dependencyare not the same things. Call it an addiction. Call it a dependence. Call it whatever you please, he writes. Im hooked.

But we cant just label it whatever we please, because words have specific meanings and with something as stigmatized as addiction, we need to choose our words carefully.

To be clear: If youre physically dependent on an antidepressant, it does not make you a drug addict.

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are a real thing for many people, especially if theyve been on antidepressants for a significant amount of time. It can be a difficult experience, to be sure. But antidepressant discontinuation syndrome is not akin to addiction.

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More Information About Withdrawal Effects

You can find out about the withdrawal effects of specific antidepressants from the British National Formulary A-Z list of drugs. Or you can speak to your doctor or pharmacist with any questions or concerns you have about the withdrawal effects of antidepressants.

Our pages on have more information about withdrawing from your medication. This includes help with making the decision whether to come off, and how to come off your medication safely. If you decide to come off your medication, our page on alternatives to antidepressants has ideas on managing your mental health without medication.

Remember: whether to continue or stop taking medication is your decision, and you have the right to change your mind.

Why Is It Important To Know Which Disorder Came First

For treatment purposes, it becomes extremely imperative to know.

For patients whose drug abuse was from depression, they will undergo a longer and different treatment regimen. They will receive a supervised detox and possibly have a medical intervention. All before receiving treatment for their depression.

For those where depression was from drug addiction, they will be taken off their drugs. After, therapists will evaluate if the patients truly have depression.

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Can Someone Become Dependent On Antidepressants

Antidepressant medications arent addictive like other prescription medications like opioids or benzodiazepines. Antidepressants arent addictive like illegal street drugs like heroin or methamphetamine. However, it is possible for a person on antidepressants to develop a tolerance to the medications. This means that when they stop taking antidepressants, they may experience some withdrawal symptoms or fear they wont be able to function without the drug. Its understandable that a person who has suffered from depression in the past but has found relief with antidepressants would be opposed to stopping. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms for antidepressants are tremors, nausea, depression, and anxiety. Its critical that people whove been prescribed antidepressants should never stop taking them without first speaking to their doctor.

However As Someone In Recovery I Can Confidently Say That Psychiatric Medications Are Part Of What Keeps Me Sober

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My freshman year of college, I experienced a painful breakup that triggered a downward spiral into a serious depression. I would go days on end without leaving my room. Id stay locked inside, laying around watching Disney movies and crying.

At the end of my rope, I went to the psychologist on our campus.

The psychologist told me that I showed classic signs of clinical depression and suggested I set up an appointment with the psychiatrist. At first, I was annoyed. I wondered how it being clinical made it any different from what Id always experienced.

I knew that I was depressed. That much was obvious. Going to a psychiatrist scared me.

I was horrified by the idea that I needed a psychiatrist. I had a real problem with depression, but I was adamant against the idea of medication.

The stigma of mental illness was so deeply ingrained that I was ashamed at the thought of needing medication.

I wrote in my journal, Do I really need to be seen by a PSYCHIATRIST? I dont want a doctor to evaluate me, I want to be HEALED not TREATED.

It shouldnt come as a shock when I tell you that I stopped seeing the therapist who suggested I go to a psychiatrist. Nothing got better, of course. I blew everything off. Every day was a struggle to get up and go to class. I found no meaning in anything I did.

Instead, I travelled a long path of denial, substance use, and self-harm.

Read Also: How Do Other Countries Deal With Drug Addiction

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