I can't say for sure, but I have been on over 20 different antidepressants in the last 19 years. Some worked and some didn't
The ones that worked I stayed on for long periods before switching meds again due to tolerance build up.
As for changes to the brain.....Humm, I can still think and remember things. I still have a good personality. Maybe not as sharp as I was in my 20's but pretty sharp for a 40 year old.
Then again who knows after so many years on these drugs, I could find out they caused a tumor in my brain or something.
I think after so many years that they do alter your brain in some ways. I figure they would have to in some ways. Are these ways openly apparent to me? No not really.
As for negitive effect. Oh yea for sure. The side effects just to start, not to mention the cost of the drugs.
I guess all a 20 year antidepressant user like me can tell you is..."Well I'm still alive."
Personally i feel yes..... I was on Paxil for 12yrs in total, came off with problems, withdrawl head shocks, then went down hill again so tried to go back on but had a bad reaction and now can't get on any anti-d..... body just goes into melt down. So yes i am convinced that these drugs when taken over a long period of time can cause changes within the brain's chemistry. Doc's will never admit to this, as my doc won't say.... he just puts his hands in the air and say's i don't know..... Don't know's anit gona help anyone are they and a couple of others doc's reckon it's a load of nonsense but if they admit they can cause problems if taken long term then they have to do something about it.....and that is no good for their pockets.
I also feel the anti depressants cause long term problems. I weaned off Paxil 7 mths ago and am still having withdrawal issues. But going to stick with it cause im tired of the side effects of taking the meds. I've been on one or the other ad for about 20 yrs now and am ready to deal with what life sends me without them, even if it is hard. No one promised us life would be easy, mine hasn't. Do a google search on life after andti depressants and just read all the info that comes up! It's amazing how the Pharmaceutical companies have made everyone think they cannot live life without them just so they can make money. Maybe some people will have to be on them for life, but they were met to be short termed while we get good therapy then weaned off . Not meant to be a lifetime solution to our problems