Antidepressants – why they won’t make you happy

Men and antidepressants

Men and antidepressants is a difficult area. Something that stops people like you seeking help for their mental health is the idea that this is all they be offered by their GP.

It’s worth taking a moment to understand a bit more about this area.

They do work… sometimes

I’m not a fan of antidepressants to be honest, but I need to be fair.

The best evidence for antidepressants show were some of the most badly affected people are more likely to improve over a few months with an antidepressant compared to a placebo (sugar pill with no biochemical effect).

So they do work in certain situations, for some people, for a certain amount of time.

So what’s the problem then?

We know for some men, like you, just acknowledging they are mentally unwell is really, really hard.

Many won’t even speak to their families about it. Let alone a GP. So, if this is you, you aren’t going to use antidepressants.

When I’m discussing antidepressants with men as a GP, we discuss that it’s not fixing the actual problem. It’s at best a sticking plaster over a gaping wound for most.

Then there’s the side effects. Men have told me various recognised effects. They can actually feel worse, gain weight, have difficulty keeping an erection.

Stopping the tablets can also be problematic in itself, possibly leading to symptoms like you experienced when you were seeking help. You don’t want these things.

The biggest problem for me is that by just giving antidepressants, we don’t acknowledge you and your story. The treatment doesn’t consider the causes and potential solutions, isn’t made to fit you, and doesn’t put you in control of your life.

A better way

This is why I want to do things differently. By giving you the ability to understand what has happened and be supported to make changes, we can support you to improve and live your life.

Further reading

Antidepressant evidence summaries:
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32802-7/fulltext
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0701/p42.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19588448/

Stopping antidepressant effects:
https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD013495.pub2/full

Common questions about antidepressants in Primary Care
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0715/p94.html

Image credit

Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

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