When ‘Happy Pills’ Don’t Work


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Antidepressants are not for everyone.

In fact, select individuals can get WORSE while on antidepressants.


Image result for happy pills


Factors that predict a bad response include:

  1. Lack of a mood stabilizer (dangerous for bipolar patients)
  2. Bipolar I vs. II- the further you are toward the manic side of the spectrum, the worse the reactions tend to be.
  3. Recent manic symptoms- starting an antidepressant within six months of a hypomania or mixed state is asking for trouble.
  4. Rapid cycling- if this has occurred in the year before starting the meds, it may get worse.
  5. Past worsening- any history of worsened mood on antidepressants increases your risk.
  6. Younger age- the risk for young adults, especially children and teens, is great
  7. Substance abuse- The more recent the abuse, the higher the risk.
  8. Suicide- If you’ve had a past attempt, there is a greater risk of worsening on antidepressants.
  9. Genetics- Those with the gene for the short-arm of the serotonin receptor are at greater risk for mania as well as suicidal thinking on antidepressants.



Source: “Bipolar, Not So Much”

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