17 thoughts on “3 Common Psychiatric Medication Side Effects No One Talks About

  • November 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I have extreme memory loss & difficulty concentrating. The worst side effect I got taking Abilify was Tardive Dyskonesia. I purposely kept an eye on myself for fear of getting it and didn’t know that I was until a friend told me I was moving my mouth all around. I stopped immediately and fortunatley for me it went away. I have read that sometimes it doesn’t.

  • November 29, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    This was an excellent article! It is full of truth that paychiatrists and others seem reluctant to discuss with patients. I really appreciate the honest reactions you felt (like when you said “we get it” about using the bathroom frequently). I have often felt the same way. I do tire of having to explain myself to others and usually don’t, but it is refreshing to feel the support of someone who has been there and knows exactly what it’s like. I really appreciated this, Gabe Howard!

    • November 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • December 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’ve been taking Paxil CR for about 10 years now, after many trial and errors with other psychiatric drugs for depression which runs in my family. The only thing I really have a hard time with is it’s effect on sexual performance, or severe lack thereof. It deadens everything, I wish they would finally come out with something for women that can help “light the fire” so to speak for women who have to take anti-depressants. It’s not just mind over matter, it’s a real problem. I am only 58 and haven’t had desire. Thanks for the great article!

  • December 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

    There is also a factor of age. Older you start better. I really dislike medicating kids. I had to take something in my teens but it did nothing(only took it for a brief time). (this was for nervousness/anxiety, in the 1970’s) Now I have started taking citalopram but I wish I could just smoke pot…Mt pdoc says there are far better meds than pot for anxiety. I am 59, and I may stop next year, not because of severe side effects but the result is not that great!

  • December 2, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for the article. I agree that every medication involves a sacrifice of some kind. I just wanted to add that dry mouth itself can be a serious problem for some. Lack of saliva can contribute to tooth decay. For me, this is a problem more at night then it is during the day because, as you note, during the day I’m always sipping on something. Dry mouth has literally cost me several tens of thousands of dollars in dental work and implants along with untold numbers of hours spent in my oral surgeon’s and dentist’s chairs.

  • December 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you for the excellent article! I do want to mention another problem regarding dry mouth – tooth decay. I have been on anti-depressants for over 20 years and with every one, my teeth began to erode even further. Ultimately, in my 30’s I had to get a full set of dentures because no matter what I did, my teeth were rotting away. My sister – a dental assistant – told me I wasn’t doing enough to take care of my teeth! Of course that depressed me even further. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered the cause – dry mouth.

  • December 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Quitting or changing the med does not mean the end of side effects sometimes. Terrible digestive issues seem to be permanent for me. I took citalopram for a year or two. No longer take it but my physical issues remain. Yes I do know my trouble was caused by this med. Sometimes you just won’t return to your former health. People should be informed before these are handed out.

  • December 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    What a great article, there is so much more that you sacrifice for medications that MAY reduce your symptoms for major depression. I have learned over the years that there is no such thing as a happy pill. You need to put in the work continually. I wish I new prior to taking medications, that I would suffer sever memory loss, hairloss, taste buds changes and etc.. I would’ve thought twice, cause they really don’t work in my opinion.

  • December 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    A fourth one has been missed of and that is sexual disfunction. This in its self can be depressing knowing I can’t properly function sexually.

  • December 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with everything you said. In my experience with Major Depression, PTSD, Anxiety and the various medications I’ve taken to help me be functional have had various side effects. When I started Cymbalta 60 mg, I was shocked at the profuse sweating. Never ever had that with any other. It did pass off and now I’m fine. Talking about the bathroom issue I now have Incontinence and I’ve often wondered if it’s the medications that caused it. I like your style of writing and want to thank you for all that you do to educate others. Stigma is still very much alive, everywhere. Wishing all the very best and safe hugs to everyone. It can be a pretty tough lonely road at times, eh?

  • December 3, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Dear Gabe,

    Dry Mouth is considerably more than just a “dry mouth”. The lack of saliva causes problems with the pre-digestions of food and more seriously an increase in peri-dontal disease in the shape of both gum disease and plaque affecting the gums and supporting tissue around the teeth. Add to this the extra bacteria that are cultured in your mouth due to the lack of saliva and you also get halitosis.



  • December 3, 2015 at 3:37 am

    Good article. The side effects were enough to keep me suicidal for over 15 years. Nausea and heartburn was an neverending companion it seemed. That did not count the depression that did not go away. I could stick crack a joke or two, that was my way of coping, finding something funny. Then gaining weight with different meds and the doc would say that I am being uncooperative for not wanting to continue with it when it was not helping and I am rapidly gaining weight. I did not feel so supported at the time and worse, after different incidents, I began to isolate myself to protect myself from mean-spirited people. Thanks!

  • December 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this article. I had 3 yrs of ECT and it ruined my ability to function mentally at the level i was used to. I know its not a “drug” however i feel strongly their related. Its very difficult to accept limitations that bipolar has put on my life. I worked full time, went to college full time and then everything changed. If i could go back i would tell myself not to be electrocuted. Even now so many yrs later i cant do those things anymore and my memory although better is still impared. To anyone who is facing the choice of having ECT I advise you to think long and hard what cognitive changes you are willing to take.

  • December 5, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    One thing I have found very helpful with dry mouth is xylitol. It is a natural substance that has a sweet taste. I have no financial interest in this, but when I am going to be speaking for awhile I used something called
    Xylimelts. They are little mints made of xylitol that adhere to your gums and keep your mouth moist. Also good for use at night. I also use a ‘moisturizer’ mouthwash made especially for dry mouth.
    Hope this helps.

  • December 8, 2015 at 12:12 am

    An then there are the Anger Issues. I developed them about 15 months post severe TBI when I was started on Keppra following a seizure. A change two years later, as part of a 72 hour Mental Health Hold, addressed the issue with a change to Oxcarbapazine. I also take Clonazepam or Lorazepam when things start to get a little out of control.

    Yup a good case of anorgasmia since starting anti-convulsive medication. Half a Viagra lets me “get where I want to be” sure wish health insurance would help with the cost.

  • December 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    This is the best discription of what it is like to live with bipolar that I’ve ever read and trust me I’ve read most of them. Thank you


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *