Can going off anti-depressants drive a person to be suicidal or violent? Healthcare professionals (and drug makers) don't seem to have a clear 'yes' or 'no.'
Another commitment-murky area seems to exist between people and their desire to take their anti-depressants:
"Research demonstrates that about 25 percent of patients stop taking antidepressant medication within three months. By six months, some studies suggest that the overall compliance rate is less than 50 percent," Fassler said.
For about one-third of patients, side effects are the main reason they stop taking psychiatric drugs, Fassler said.
Dr. Lynne Tan, a psychiatrist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said many patients complain that antidepressants cause restlessness, agitation and racing thoughts. Sweating, sexual dysfunction and headaches are other common side effects. Sometimes they subside over time, and if not, patients can be switched to other medications, she said.
The article also sites unwillingness to accept a life-long dependence on medication as another reason for stopping medication.
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Dr. Lynne Tan received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her post-graduate training at Montefiore Medical Center and Bronx Psychiatric Center.