In a sedated society, anti-depressants can first effect our mind due to a brain activity that comes into result when withdrawals strike. This activity is called a brain zap and Jessica Lindsay reviews what it is, and how it infects the minds of those who have them physically and psychologically.
In Lindsay’s article,
She express that a brain zap, “[Is] a hard phenomenon to describe, but essentially a brain zap feels like a little electric shock. It can be triggered by noises or sudden movement, or just happen randomly. It’s akin to someone sticking a wet finger in your ear, a spider crawling up the back of your neck, or a sudden flash of lightening. Although they don’t hurt and only last for a couple of seconds, they can be distressing and give you that feeling of being woken up in the middle of the night and having to readjust to where and who you are.”
There’s no definite reason as to why these brain zaps occur, but it’s thought to happen because of, “[The] amino acid[s] that work as a neurotransmitter in your brain[.][These amino acids are called] Gamma-aminobutyric acid [also known as GABA].
According to Healthline, Lindsay writes, “When GABA attaches to a protein in your brain known as a GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect. This can help with feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear.”
Also according to Healthline, “Low levels of GABA have been linked to seizures, and the theory goes that, as SSRIs increase levels of GABA, by discontinuing use and lowering levels once again, these zaps take place.”
These zaps occur when a user suddenly comes off of an anti-depressant. Each SSRI has different side effects when it comes to withdrawals yet the list is mind-boggling.
The symptoms include;
- shock-like sensations (brain zaps)
- paresthesia (burning, prickly, or skin crawling sensations)
- visual disturbances
- impaired concentration
- vivid dreams
- depersonalization (a detached, out-of-body experience)
- suicidal thoughts
Antidepressants not only have mean side effects when coming off of them, but they also affect much more than your mentality and physicality, but can also affect your future health.
Taking antidepressants can also have a significant effect on pregnant women.
According to Kristen Fischer, in her article;
“A new study [in the BMJ Open journal] finds that pregnant women taking certain types of antidepressants were anywhere from 15 to 52 percent higher risk for developing gestational diabetes. The study joins a growing body of evidence linking [certain] forms of antidepressants [to an] increased risk for gestational diabetes.”
Fischer also expresses that 1 in 10 pregnant women who have depression not only have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes but this risk can put, “Infants at risk for being overweight [and the woman carrying at risk of a] prolonged labor.”
The children of mothers who have gestational diabetes are also vulnerable to, “Obesity or diabetes [while their mothers] may be more likely to have type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.”
Antidepressants are also known for affecting metabolism rates and influence serotonin levels which can affect glucose digestion.
Dr. Bérard states that, “Although biological plausibility is not well understood, we know that antidepressants are associated with weight gain… mostly SSRIs and SNRIs, the most used antidepressants… and that weight gain is associated with insulin resistance and glucose metabolism dysregulation — all risk factors for diabetes.”
And some data suggests that, “changes to a receptor targeted by antidepressants can lead to insulin resistance, added Dr. Jodie Katon, a research assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
Not only are antidepressants causing women to develop gestational diabetes, antidepressants are also causing teenagers to do more harm than good.
According to Shelley Jofre in her article;
A girl by the name of Amiee Folan from Glasgow Scotland expressed that, “[She] had a troubled childhood and was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 12 [and] at the age of 16, when she was staying at a children’s unit in Scotstounhill, she went to see her [general practitioner] and was prescribed antidepressants that had a devastating effect — within a week she had attempted suicide.”
Folan also expressed that the doctors warned that, “The drugs could make her feel ‘low’ for a few days.”
The doctors forgoe to mention that Folan would, “Get to the point where [she] was hearing voices and seeing people who were not there.” Folan was also having, “Night terrors and [there were] voices in her head telling her to hurt herself and her partner[.] [These were] symptoms she had never experienced before.”
Folan believes that antidepressants should not be prescribed to anyone under the age of 18 due to her experiences on the drug. In Folan’s experience, the consumption of antidepressants affected her mind in ways that many individuals are not aware of. Those who determine they may need to take antidepressants are often misguided by their doctors in terms of fully understanding the side effects.
There are many doctors and article writers on social media trying to persuade individuals who are considering taking antidepressants that antidepressants has many ‘myths’ and misconceptions. Yet these myths, misconceptions, and symptoms differ for each individual who decides to take antidepressants. Not one statement fits like a glove for each person. Antidepressants may or may not affect pregnant women or teenagers the same way, yet each person who does take antidepressants are susceptible to every symptom and side effect. Despite these symptoms and side effects being labeled as myths and or misconceptions.
Based off of individual experience and statistical information, our society is becoming sedated, and antidepressants are beginning to take control of our minds and bodies.
How can we, as a whole, change our sedated society to a revitalized society?