the kilmer cure (thekilmercure) wrote,
the kilmer cure

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cocktail part two: H-A-P-P-P-I

Effexor is from a class of drugs called SNRIs: selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. They work by stopping the “reuptake” of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine; basically they make it so that, instead of being put away neatly, these chemicals slosh around in your brain, getting used over and over again.

A still from 'The Ghost and the Darkness'
A still from 'The Ghost and the Darkness'
John Henry Patterson is Irish, so his mood elevator of choice is not Effexor, but—oh, you get the joke.

SNRI’s are antidepressants; their job is to elevate mood. Doctors will always start bipolar patients on a mood stabilizer before putting them on an antidepressant, even if they are suicidal, because an antidepressant can raise the mood too much, causing mania. Ironically, antidepressants can also cause increased depression; there has been trouble, especially with younger people, about increased suicidal ideation following the start of an Effexor or other antidepressant regimen.

A still from 'At First Sight'
This shit is stressful.

Because serotonin and norepinephrine work in a lot of different body systems, drugs like Effexor have a lot of side effects. The most common are things like nausea and somnolence (feeling sleepy all the time), but there are also instances of things like muscle pain or weakness, blurred vision, anorexia, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), and tremor.

A still from 'Blind Horizon'
The lines on my face getting clearer.

Antidepressants as a whole have two major side effects that cause patients to buck treatment. The first is weight gain. Use of antidepressants usually causes weight gain between 10 and 50 pounds, but can sometimes cause gains of more than 100 pounds. Antidepressants cause increased cravings and low energy levels; additionally, serotonin is involved in telling the body when it has had enough to eat, and the manipulation of the neurotransmitter by antidepressants can cause it to fail in this job.

A still from 'Willow'
“I don’t love her! She kicked me in the face!”

The second major side effect of antidepressants is low sex drive and sexual dysfunction. This side effect can manifest in a number of ways, from complete deadening of the libido to inability to orgasm to inability to feel emotions of romantic attachment; antidepressants can keep you from falling in love.

Tags: bipolar disorder, depression, drugs
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