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    Includes Expert Content
    Difference between suicidal thoughts from antidepressants vs. depression?
    avatar
    An_255361 posted:
    How do you tell the difference between real suicidal thoughts and ones caused by antidepressants?

    Thanks.
    Reply
     
    avatar
    rohvannyn responded:
    That's a really good question. Not sure what the "true" answer is, but I can think of two ways to tell. If you find yourself having more suicidal thoughts than before you took the med, that says something. Also, if the suicidal thoughts don't really have a reason behind them but just pop into your head, that could be an indication too.
     
    avatar
    barbielanell46 responded:
    First of all I must point out that all thoughts of suicide are potentially deadly. It is very important that anyone experiencing such thoughts, for whatever reason should seek immediate help.

    Secondly, in manycases, antidepressants are not so much the cause of suicidal thoughts, as they are a means to that end. Those who are suffering from deeper depression do not have the energy to plan a lethal escape. However, once their mood begins to lift, sometimes as the result of an antidepressant, one then finds the energy to carry out suicidal ideas.
     
    avatar
    Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
    I agree with all that has been posted. My 2 cents... suicidal thoughts can have the same content and feel to them wherever they come from. I do think the key is if they change in quality (get more aggressive, get them more often, get them and can;t dismiss them....) within a few days of starting and antidepressant or increasing the dose AND you are younger than 25, it may be antidepressant triggered. I have seen a few patient where for no clear reason, boom- they get the thoughts after the antidepressant started.. Otherwise, we know that the first few weeks of recovery from depression coincides sometimes with more suicidal activity- even in folks not on meds... So tough to tell like the other post said if it is part of recovery or drug induced. Either way, notify your doc!


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