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SSRIs need to be advertised as what they are

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs are being advertised as an easy scapegoat for individuals with mental disorders such as depression, anxiety or OCD. These SSRIs include Lexapro, Zoloft and Prozac among others. I think we need to stop pushing these medications as a number one, and instead offer clients better and more life-long solutions.

I have been on Zoloft for five years, and not only does it not work for me anymore, getting off of it has also been the most terrible experience of my life. If this were advertised to me when I first got prescribed, I never would have gotten on them. 

The list of side effects for these medications is long. Not enough research has been conducted for scientists even to know the life-long side effects that can occur. I believe if your life is not at risk, then doctors should push more toward therapy or holistic medication options. 

When I first told my doctor I was experiencing anxiety, she immediately prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, which is the compound that comprises Zoloft. I received no warnings about the potential side effects of the drug, or any lasting effects. I was 15 years old. 

After five years of being on this medication, I discussed with my family how I felt like they weren’t working anymore, and I was still experiencing severe anxiety. Over the summer, I decided to seek out a medication management doctor and therapy. 

When first speaking to my new doctor, she recommended increasing my dose instead of trying to wean me off of it. It took a lot of discussion to try to convince her that I needed to get off this medication. I’ve been meeting with this doctor for about eight months, and I have been seeing a therapist as well. I still haven’t completely weaned off Zoloft. I have found other coping mechanisms that have been beyond helpful. These include, but are not limited to, meditation and exercise. 

I highly recommend to people who are going through tough periods in their lives to try to stray as far away from SSRIs as possible. Doctors should seek alternate approaches before immediately prescribing these medications, and it should not be their first recommendation.

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