What Can Be the Downsides of Mental Health Medications?

What Can Be the Downsides of Mental Health Medications?

Mental health medications are often prescribed to help treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But, like all other medications, mental health medications can cause side effects. While these side effects are primarily experienced by the individual who takes the medication, they can also affect people around them.

Mental health medications are an important component of treatment for depression and anxiety. They work by altering chemicals in the brain that play a role in mental illness. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential downsides to taking these medications. The medicine issues can include side effects, reactions to other medications, and potential for addiction.

Side Effects and Long-Term Impacts of Mental Health Medications

  • Headaches – Some mental health medications can cause headaches, commonly as a side effect of the medication. These headaches can range in severity, from fairly mild to quite severe, and are often the result of an imbalance in the natural chemicals the brain produces. Medications wreak havoc on our bodies in our daily lives, but it is important to remember that some medications can be dangerous. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience headaches as a side effect of your medication.
  • Weight gain – Medication can be crucial for treating mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Still, many people on medication find that their medication causes them to gain a lot of weight. The weight can be controlled and managed by doing regular physical activities and workouts.
  • Dizziness – Dizziness is one of the most common side effects of antidepressants, anxiety medications, and antipsychotic medications. And dizziness generally isn’t harmful. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to call your doctor and cancel your medication, but it’s a good sign that something is wrong. Dizziness can be a result of a problem with the medication, or it can be a symptom of something else. The good news is that dizziness is almost always temporary and treatable.
  • Dry mouth – Dry mouth is also a common side effect associated with mental health medications. Even if you don’t have an issue yet, foods like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can cause dry mouth, which can make your mental health medications less effective. Dry mouth is also a common side effect of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. Your healthcare provider can help you manage such symptoms.
  • Muscle spasms and cramps – While taking prescription medications for mental health issues can be beneficial, they also have some negative side effects. One such side effect is muscle spasms, which can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient. Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of a muscle group, and they usually occur in the limbs of the body. Some medications can cause muscle spasms, and certain mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, can cause spasms to happen too.
  • Nausea – Nausea is uncomfortable, but it can be manageable, especially when it emerges early in treatment. Nausea is a side effect that can last long after you stop taking your medications, even after you’ve become adjusted to the medication’s side effects.
  • Loss of sex drive – Some mental health medications cause sexual side effects, while others impact cognitive function. Some, like antipsychotics, can even change a person’s brain chemistry, making it more difficult for them to function in daily life. When medications cause side effects that interfere with the person’s daily life, it’s common for those side effects to be overlooked. However, if faced with any sexual issue, it can be beneficial to discuss this with a professional.
  • Constipation – Constipation could be one of the long‐term effects that you didn’t expect. Your mental health medications can cause constipation, which can either be mild or severe. The severity of your constipation depends on many factors, including your health, prescriptions, digestive system workability, and diet.
  • Sleepiness or problems sleeping – In some cases, side effects can disrupt sleep, increase anxiety, or worsen depression. Even though some side effects are predictable, like the stomach upset associated with some antidepressants, others, like insomnia, can occur without warning. If you are on mental health medication and are suffering from insomnia, you may need professional help.

Mental health medications can cause side effects and impact long-term health. The side effects of mental health medications can vary based on the type of medication, i.e., a benzodiazepine could cause sedation. In contrast, an antidepressant could cause insomnia, so it’s important to discuss side effects with a mental health expert before starting any medication.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that can often be unkind to those who suffer from mental health issues. People can be cruel, and society-at-large often frowns upon mental illness. Some people aren’t even sure whether or not a mental health issue is something that can be cured. This, unfortunately, can be the very reason that a person might avoid seeking treatment for mental health issues. However, there are physical as well as online services and resources available that one can look into and avail assistance as required.



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