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Fear Of Brain Damage


Saliency

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Does anyone else have a fear of brain damage (I guess in the sense of decreased IQ, decreased co-ordination and concentration etc) from either depression or the use of antidepressant medication? This is something I worry about quite a bit. I worry that if I stop taking medication, I'll get brain damage from the mental illness itself. Then I worry that maybe my medication itself is damaging my brain, because seeing as most commonly prescribed antidepressants have only been in existence for a couple of decades, it could be several more decades before we know the real effects of life-long medication use, as well as the effects of switching meds, weaning off meds, increasing/decreasing doses, etc. Anyone else have the same fear? Does anyone have any info or links on this subject that could shed some light on the matter?

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No.......and I don't see any studies showing brain damage from antidepressants. If they did cause brain damage, you know there would have already been class action lawsuits with billions in compensation. Yes, taking antidepressants can make you lose your coordination, concentration and sharpness. But after you stop taking them, these affects go away. If they don't, it's time to talk to a lawyer.

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Well yes, I do fear brain damage greatly though my fear apparently never outweighed my desire to dabble in dangerous recreational drugs many times over the last few years. I don't think my meds are going to hurt me. Only thing I fear is quitting Xanax, and I deal with this fear by not quitting Xanax.

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This is a fear I get all the darn time. Due to the cognitive symptoms of depression and how they affect me as a person. It really destroyed my ability to function and left me in a state of anger and hatred when I was younger. It only got worse in recent years as my depression worsened.

Tonight however, my mood appears to have improved a little, I am able to enjoy things somewhat (able to play video games to pass the time) and am thinking much clearer than usual. I still lack a great deal of drive, but that's because it's not that big of a difference from my usual depressed state still.

Nothing really caused this, which may indicate it's more of a chemical issue.

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This sounds like health anxiety, something I have dealt with over the last 9-10 months. I'm not trying to diagnose you with anything but I have gone through this, not because I think my anxiety is causing damage or the meds, I've suffered 4-5 concussions in my life ( concussions are brain injuries incase you didn't know ) and at times before If i've had a headache I thought it was from the concussions and I have brain damage. If you are truly worried go see a doc my friend!

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Hi!

This type of concern would likely link in broadly to the group of issues related to hypochondriasis. All that means is that someone has a tendency to convert emotions or cognitive concerns into body concerns. By having the habit of somatising the issue they feel more in control but like a lot of attempted coping behaviors (such as OCD, alcohol, eating disorders) the help creates pain and is self defeating.. People who are this way inclined are usual super focused on body signals and will look for a physiological explanation for almost everything, often minute by minute.

Not saying this fits you Saliency! Just putting the thoughts out there,

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You ask good questions. Sadly I am not someone who can answer them. I have weighed the costs and benefits of various courses of action for myself and am content with the decisions. I hope you are able to reach decisions that are helpful to you and leave you with a sense of peace. I am sorry you are struggling. I wish no one had to suffer from these things! Best to you! ! !

Edited by Epictetus
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No.......and I don't see any studies showing brain damage from antidepressants. If they did cause brain damage, you know there would have already been class action lawsuits with billions in compensation. Yes, taking antidepressants can make you lose your coordination, concentration and sharpness. But after you stop taking them, these affects go away. If they don't, it's time to talk to a lawyer.

I haven't had this problem O.o; Since taking antidepressants, my concentration and sharpness have probably been way better than they ever were. Coordination though - I've always been clumsy

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Well yes, I do fear brain damage greatly though my fear apparently never outweighed my desire to dabble in dangerous recreational drugs many times over the last few years. I don't think my meds are going to hurt me. Only thing I fear is quitting Xanax, and I deal with this fear by not quitting Xanax.

i have done a crapload of hard drugs though only for like a year and not everyday. i think it takes many many years of daily use for it to really affect the brain significantly though.

but anyway, depression certainly affects things like memorization, concentration, but as depression improves so does those things. this is because of neuroplasticity, the brain is always changing in response to things.

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Hmmm... There are a plethora of responses here. I don't have an answer for you, but an experience. I took mood stabilizers for 2.5 years. They affected my brain in a major way, the most prominent was memory. After I stopped taking them most of my brain returned to normal. However, my memory appears to be still damaged and it's been almost a year since I took any psych meds. As one person suggested, maybe I should look for a lawyer, but the ability to persecute for this, is ridiculously hard to prove and is even more costly. So, yeah, that's not really an option for the average person. Medications effect everyone differently.

Now as far as brain damage from depression. I know for a fact that electrical pathways in the brain grow when they are used repeatedly. When a person is depressed they think the same thoughts over an over, solidifying specific pathways in the brain. The brain can be retrained. Those pathways can shrink and a person can create new pathways and make those grow. Therefore a depressed person can chose to use more positive pathways and make those grow. So, does depression cause brain damage? I don't believe so. The brain is functioning how it is supposed to by increasing the strength of those negative pathways. It is reversible though, however the reversing process is painful for a lot of people. It requires time, dedication, and a heck of a lot of effort. That might make it feel like the person has brain damage, because it can take years to create new pathways (depending on how often the person practices).

So, a little bit of science mixed with personal opinion. Hope this helps. In terms of mind altering drugs (and yes prescriptions are drugs) do your research and be careful. Learn to self-advocate.

Edited by angeleswings
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I'm a bit late but I worry about this too. Whenever I'm in the holidays (like now) I worry that my brain will become damaged by the inactivity and that I'll just forget everything from school and have to start all over again.

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