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Unread 07-29-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default Antidepressants/Dyslexia

I wanted to know if anyone knows if antidepressants affect the person differently if they have dyslexia and struggle with "depression".

I can't seem to find anything about it when I search it. I do know that the brain of "dyslexics" are different and the only thing I did read is that SSRI's affect dyslexics differently because of the difference in brain chemistry. What I read talked about "frontal lobe confusion" however, I can't find any more information and if there have even been antidepressant medications that have proven "helpful".

This is not for a child, but an adult.

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

OE
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Unread 07-30-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

Just for the heck of it, I tried Googling on the terms [antidepressant dyslexia]. I got the usual "About 8,480,000 results" but most of the ones on the first page didn't sound relevant. This one did, sort of: Antidepressants Cause Perceptual, Focusing Problems, by Marilisa Sachteleben, Yahoo! Contributor Network. Here's the beginning:
Quote:
Nine years ago, I began taking the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine), an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) to combat anxiety and depression. I weaned myself off from it, when I began to put on weight. Since coming off the Paxil, I've noticed several changes in my functioning, notably in the areas of perception and mental processing. Here's how antidepressants affected my abilities in these areas....
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Unread 07-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

I'm wondering if a pharmacist might know anything about this topic......Might be worth a try anyway!
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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

Quote:
Originally Posted by FooZe View Post
Just for the heck of it, I tried Googling on the terms [antidepressant dyslexia]. I got the usual "About 8,480,000 results" but most of the ones on the first page didn't sound relevant. This one did, sort of: Antidepressants Cause Perceptual, Focusing Problems, by Marilisa Sachteleben, Yahoo! Contributor Network. Here's the beginning:
Thanks FooZe,

It is my daughter that has decided to take an antidepressant and she does have dyslexia. A very long "toxic" relationship has led to her experiencing "depression" and I do worry about her resorting to believing that an antidepressant will be the "magic answer" for her.

I have read about those with dyslexia experiencing "depression" because of the challenges that come with learning because of how the dyslexic brain processes differently. It does not mean a "lack of intelligence" either.

I have read that it is common for those who are dyslexic to turn to food/self harm/alcohol to find a way to have a "sense of control" too.
I just read about that yesterday too. I didn't know that, however I have observed that my daughter does take "challenges" seriously and tends to pursue challenges that others would not take on.

Her GP recommended that she take Xanax to help her sleep at night and to also take Lexapro for the depression. I urged her to read about the "side effects" of Lexapro and to also "before just taking the medication" get another opinion to see if there may be even more "side effects" to those who are dyslexic.

Well, unfortunately, I am just the "mom" and the sentiment was, that I should not "stress and have a need to voice my concerns". Ugh

The truth is that when I read about antidepressants, there are articles that talk about how antidepressants may cause damage to the hypocampus and change the chemical balance in the brain that can be more harmful then is often discussed by the pharmaceutical companies that are promoting them and of course making money from what is now a wide usage of "antidepressants".

I find it very frustrating to get to the "truth" and I certainly do not want to see my daughter make a decision that she may really "regret". I do not feel that a GP is necessarily up to date on this highly specialized area of human health either. In fact I had a GP throw my medical records at me in anger stating that he resented the fact that a psychiatrist would assume he was qualified to prescribe medications outside his area of expertise when it comes to treating "MI".

Sigh.....I just thought if I could find some information, other than my own opinion/concern about how the dyslexic brain may not benefit and may even be compromised by antidepressant use, I could convince my daughter to consider it more than just "going ahead and taking a medication and if she finds she doesn't like it in someway, then just stop using it". That is the message I got from her yesterday. Grrrrr, unfortunately that is not what anyone should do IMHO.

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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

I honestly doubt this is a significant issue. If your daughter is suffering from depression and needs medication to treat it, I would suspect the need for the med far outweighs some slight chance of some issue with her dyslexia. She's an adult, not a child with a still developing brain. Let go and let her make her own decision here.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

I have read other cases where as in FooZe's link there have been "increased" difficulty with words etc. This "is" a concern because my daughter makes a living by doing a lot of calculations and she certainly can't be seeing or processing things different then they appear in writing or in numbers.

The other concern I have is the side effect noted in Lexapro of being light headed, dizzy and challenge with equilibrium. My daughter competes heavily on horses where jumping and speed and "very quick" decisions have to be made. There sure is no room for "lack of balance and imparity of the ability for "quick decision making". It can be "a big deal".

I came across one small statement about dyslexia and antidepressants where "frontal lobe confusion" had been noted. I could not seem to find anything else, however what FooZe has presented is at least another person describing a difficulty that she has encountered even "after" stopping the antidepressant.

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Unread 07-30-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

Open Eyes, I can understand your concern. I really tried to get rid of my depression through other ways before resorting to anti-depressants. (And later I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.)

Please remember that the list of side effects is a list of things that can happen. Not everybody has these side effects or maybe even any of them. So, we don't know if she will experience problems riding horses until she sees what a particular drug does.

I always encourage people to see a therapist when they are depressed. If the depression is caused by environmental factors and not a brain-chemical problem, then it might be resolved without drugs. However, when someone is getting more and more depressed, even with therapy, exercising, etc., then I think drugs need to be added. (And they do tend to take awhile, such as two weeks, to really kick in!)

However, if your daughter is officially an adult, then her decision will be honored by her health professionals. I know that's frustrating. I find it that way, too.

I have no doubt that such drugs affect brain functioning. That's how they help. If your daughter goes on such a drug, then let's hope she will get better and can wean off of it at some point.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

Thank's Payne, I talked to my T this morning and he talked about Lexapro and that while all possible side effects have to be listed, it doesn't mean the majority of people suffer from these side effects and often they may not last and the drug can become a "benefit".


I understand what you are saying though. I just thought that it was possible that other members who may have dyslexia may come forward and perhaps share their input on their experience with "antidepressants" and may even have found an antidepressant that is actually "better" for someone who is dyslexic.

I don't feel there is any harm in asking and have found asking questions in my past has often proved to be very useful.

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Unread 07-30-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

It sounds like you are possibly sort of apologizing for bringing the topic up! No need for that! You have a legitimate concern.

Truth be told, we just don't know the long-term side effects/damage of many of the psychiatric drugs. Klonopin (anti-anxiety drug) is being suspected as a culprit for some memory problems I have, so I am being weaned off of it!

As your doc said, we have to weigh the cost/benefit ratio in deciding what to do.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Antidepressants/Dyslexia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Open Eyes View Post
I have read about those with dyslexia experiencing "depression" because of the challenges that come with learning because of how the dyslexic brain processes differently. It does not mean a "lack of intelligence" either.

I have read that it is common for those who are dyslexic to turn to food/self harm/alcohol to find a way to have a "sense of control" too.
I just read about that yesterday too. I didn't know that, however I have observed that my daughter does take "challenges" seriously and tends to pursue challenges that others would not take on.
A few years ago a friend (who teaches Special Ed) turned me on to one Ronald Davis, an engineer who's learned to view his own dyslexia not as a disability, but as a different kind of ability. Here are a couple of webpages about the book he wrote:

The Gift of Dyslexia: Information and Synopsis

The Gift of Dyslexia ... (Amazon)

I don't consider myself dyslexic but I can certainly see his point. I even think that variations of his approach could apply to some other conditions usually considered "mental disorders".
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