An msn article this morning caught my attention with an interesting assertion: do antidepressant drugs cause out of control spending habits? I’ve written many articles about the danger of antidepressant drugs but this rather odd claim is a new to me.
According to San Diego psychiatrist David Reiss, any antidepressant and stimulant can trigger hypomania, a psychological state of euphoria. And while a patient may experience positive effects such as being confident, creative and outgoing, antidepressants can also contribute to extremely poor financial judgment. Reiss sees many patients through the California Workers Compensation system who have experienced depression due to their injuries and are treated with antidepressants. Among this group, he has noticed a spike in gambling.
“I am now much more aware to listen for and more closely ask how they are spending their time,” says Reiss. “Perhaps 20% of the time, people who are limited in their activity by physical impairment and finances will tell me that they go once a week or once a month to local casinos,” he says. As a result, they can’t meet their expenses and assume losses that their disability income cannot support.
Many are surprised by what they’ve done after the euphoria passes — and are shocked and dismayed when they see their credit card bills. “This often triggers guilt and depression,” says Reiss.
Shopping till they drop
In addition to prompting unrealistic and obsessive betting, hypomania also may result in “unrestrained buying sprees” and “foolish business investments,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
I was just curious if anyone out there taking antidepressants relate to this. Do you think that antidepressants lead to compulsive spending? I would love your comments: