Antidepressants Can Cause Insomnia & Weight Gain

30th Jun 2015

It takes a lot of courage to admit that you’re suffering anxiety or depression and don’t know how to sort yourself out. You probably struggle on for a while, but eventually end up at the doctor’s and leave with antidepressant medication.

An antidepressant allows better absorption by the brain of the feel-good hormone serotonin, eventually helping you feel more like yourself again, in better spirits, and able to cope. It’s a complicated neurological process that goes on in the brain – the link at the end explains it.

Side Effects!
I’m not knocking antidepressants. They can be a tremendous help in coping with a deeply troubling time or getting out of an emotional pot-hole. It’s just that no pill comes without side effects and many antidepressants are known to cause insomnia and weight gain.

How can anyone begin to feel good again, if they can’t get a proper night’s sleep and they start piling on weight? Lack of sleep causes depression, the very condition the depressed person is trying to overcome. And weight gain? Nothing more effective to make you feel awful about yourself, unless you need the extra weight.

Alternatives to combat depression?
6 helpful steps, known to work (don’t stop taking your antidepressants without your doctor’s consent)

1) Bad foods out. We all know what they are.

2) Quit fast food, junk food and non-food full of chemicals, pesticides, additives, preservatives, hormones, nitrates, trans-fats and more. The labels list them all.

3) Reduce stimulants. They keep the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode, meaning constantly hyped-up. The occasional caffeine fix can be good to kick-start the brain for that early-morning meeting, but not all day! Quick fix soon becomes frazzled mind and burnt-out energy. So, reduce coffee, alcohol and tobacco.

4) Strictly no excitotoxins – substances added to processed food to make it taste better. They react with specialised neuron receptors in the brain in such a way as to cause injury and destruction of certain brain cells. Two of the most common are MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartame.

5) Omega 3 essential fatty acids help to regulate the flow of chemical messengers throughout the body, which affect mood.  Our modern diet is rich in Omega 6. Too much 6 to 3 creates imbalance, which can influence depression and inflammatory diseases.  Omega 3: salmon, tuna, halibut, sea food, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dark-green leafy veg like spinach, and fruits like melon, blackberries. Do research – there’s so much omega 3 to eat out there. And don’t top-up with any omega 6.

6) Exercise! Even walking round the block oxygenates the body cells, helps homeostasis (natural body balance) and boosts that serotonin up towards the brain to make you feel good.

Don’t take my word for it. Read up on all this, make informed choices, and look forward to sleeping well, looking good, and feeling heaps better!

Copyright © 2015 Brenda Martin

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