How do anti depressants and anti psyc... - Anxiety and Depre...

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How do anti depressants and anti psychotics differ?


I have been taking sertraline for 6 months and it is doing nothing but making me more depressed. Dr wants to try an anti psychotic...I am not sure how they differ. Can someone explain it to me...thx

16 Replies

The Mind website has very good information

I have a personality disorder and take a combination of both x

As to the chemical difference, only a doctor can speak to that. I can share my experience however. Sertraline never seemed to do anything for me, took it for years, started to just accumulate in my medicine cabinet so I quit taking it. When I get enough sleep I don't need anti-depressants. However, when I don't sleep for weeks (and I literally don't) I get very depressed and hateful. I've had debilitating insomnia for about 8 years that makes me want to give up too. I also have put my children through enough they certainly don't need that trauma on top of it. So - not an option! Beware anti-psychotics. I put on 30 pounds on Olanzapine/Zyprexa and don't think it was ever doing anything for me. So now I have serious weight gain to lose/contend with, and it sucks. I actually became pre-diabetic, after being fit and thin all my adult life. I would absolutely not recommend taking Zyprexa, Latuda, Saphris, or certainly not older ones like Depakote., all of which I have been prescribed. Many serious /scary side effects, with little detectable benefits in my experience. I have been on Seroquel for the past year or so, at night. It helped me sleep for awhile, not anymore. Also has weight gain as side effect. Probably the one that has been most beneficial/least detrimental for me...I hear you, you are not alone...remember - psychiatrists get psych doc now is genuine, but the one before that was crazy

Hidden in reply to lcs067

This is so frightening....thank you for the input. So what do you take now? My main problem is anxiety due to trauma. I am ready to pack it in however I love my husband and children so much that I cannot do that, plus, I actually love my life just not my place in it,

Daisy50 in reply to Hidden

My daughter takes 200mg of Sertraline and is on a anit psychotic called Quetiapine 100mg at night and 50mg in morning. She has no side effects from the antinpsychotic no weight gain either, everybody is different and reacts different to medications. What works for one doesn't work for another you need to find the one thats best for you.


I took antipsychotics for psychosis for seven years. It was not necessary and I gained sixty pounds quickly. Also causes diabetes, heart disease and stroke in high numbers. I got off because it was so bad for me. Also they can cause psychosis and other serious issues when trying to get off them.

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
Hidden in reply to Hidden

I got off everything a year ago. Been fine since.

Hidden in reply to Hidden

That’s great. Do you sleep well? I don’t, I have ocd and my thoughts are all over the place. Just curious...if you had psychosis how did you get better without meds,?

Hidden in reply to Hidden

I had a breakdown due to specific incidents. It was diagnosed quickly as bipolar w psychosis but I think it was incorrect. I sleep good now since listening to rain sounds every night for a year. Works like a charm.

Usually anti depressants like sertraline target serotonin reuptake to help increase the serotonin in your body. Antipsychotics target dopamine receptors in the brain to help decrease dopamine.

For your reference, serotonin is linked to mood, behaviors, appetite, etc. so less of it is linked to depression. As for dopamine, it helps with movement, emotional response, and learning. Too much of it can cause an overloaded emotional response which can lead to lots of stuff. It sounds like your doctor is just trying to see what chemical imbalance may be causing the depression.


Hidden in reply to TrustnGod

Makes a lot of sense. I was never ever depressed until I suffered trauma. I now suffer from anxiety, depression and Ocd. I am hopeless.

Have you ever taken either?

Antipsychotic meds are used to augment treatment-resistant depression. The efficacy of this approach has mixed results my friend. I'm curious if you have any of the symptoms like confused thinking. These drugs are also used for treatment of Bipolar Disorder.

Antipsychotic medications have an effect on neurotransmitter activity. By altering these chemical messengers, symptoms of psychotic disorders, such as hallucinations, delusions and mood swings, can be controlled or lessened. There are two main types of antipsychotic drugs that basically work by altering dopamine and/or serotonin receptors.

One type is referred to as typical antipsychotics or first-generation antipsychotics. There are also atypical antipsychotics or second-generation antipsychotics. First-generation antipsychotics were the first of the two types to be developed, sometime around the 1950s. These drugs work by blocking a certain dopamine receptor called the D2 receptor. They're often successful in lessening psychotic symptoms, but their use can result in movement disorders, such as involuntary muscle movements, restlessness or problems initiating movement.

The second-generation antipsychotics were introduced from about 1990 onward. These drugs work by blocking the D2 receptors as well as a specific serotonin receptor called 5-HT2A receptor. They provide treatment for psychotic symptoms and have a lower risk of muscular side efffects; however, they have been found to cause weight gain, diabetes and lipid disorders. If you're going to take an antipsychotic, in my opinion I'd opt for the second-generation antipsychotics. Good karma coming your way my friend.

I think you should taper off all meds they don't seem to be helping you

Try to get to the root of your problem

CBT maybe

Hidden in reply to lillyofthevalley37

Interesting concept...I know the root of my problem...suffered trauma 10 days before my sons wedding and was diagnosed with a debilitating auto immune disease at the same time. Realistically, meds won’t change any of that.

I'm on Cymbalta (an anti-depressant) and Rexulti (an anti-psychotic) both for depression. The Rexulti was added when I first became depressed while the Cymbalta was for anxiety. I've had no bad side effects from the Rexulti and I do think it has helped with my depression even though I don't feel I'm at 100%.

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