Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Personality and Anti-Depressants

Fluoxetine, 20mg with packet.Image via Wikipedia

It is known that taking an antidepressant can help alleviate the feelings of depression, but studies are showing that it also changes a person’s personality. Those taking the drug Paxil may feel less stressed and more outgoing, alive and confident – and not merely because they are less depressed.

Two main personality traits linked to depression are neuroticism (a tendency toward emotional instability and negative mood) and extraversion (Tendency toward outgoingness) – while taking the drug Paxil, for instance, there is a drop in neuroticism and a jump in extraversion. The more the personality shift the patients will be less likely to relapse.

While Paxil is not prescribed as much anymore due to side effects, other drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft, have the same effects on a person’s personality.

There are researchers, however, that believe it may not be the drugs themselves that are changing the persons mood, but that is simply that they are feeling less depressed.

On a personal level it is hard for me know if this study is right. I have taken Prozac for a short time; I didn’t like how it made me feel. I am now on Zoloft and have been for years – I can’t say that my personality is that different, I just see me as me. The same person I was before I took the medication. Maybe it is because I live with Bipolar Disorder and a not only depressed – that could complicate the idea. My brain is divided to begin with, so the challenge is too keep it balanced, to function as close to normal as possible. I am outgoing when I am feeling good and can be when I need to be (even if I am feeling bad) to me it is all in my brain.

I hope the medication does help with it all, my social interaction that is. If not, my hope is that it will at least keep me balanced.

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