Long-term antidepressant use may worsen depression

Researchers in Switzerland recently published a study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, showing a connection between long-term antidepressant use and the worsening of depression symptoms over time.

The researchers analyzed the mental health and medication usage reported for nearly 600 participants from the longitudinal Zurich Cohort Study. The participants were assessed by psychologists and psychiatrists in 1978 (when they were 19 or 20 years old), then again in 1981, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2008. The medical professionals assessed the participants for severity of depression symptoms over the previous year, and they asked if the participants had been prescribed antidepressants during the same period.

What the researchers discovered was that those participants who used antidepressants were 81% more likely to have their depression become more severe between assessments, when compared to those who didn’t use antidepressants.

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