Depression is usually treated with either medication or psychotherapy, or both. The sources of these imbalances can be either genetic or environmental. It is likely that in most cases, the causes are multiple, including both genes and situational changes. Antidepressants are medicines used to help people who have depression.
Antidepressant drugs are not happy pills, and they are not a panacea. They are prescription-only drugs that come with risks as well as benefits, and should only ever be taken under a doctor’s supervision. Most antidepressants are believed to work by slowing the removal of certain chemicals from the brain. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are needed for normal brain function. Antidepressants are typically taken for at least 4 to 6 months. In some cases, patients and their doctors may decide that antidepressants are needed for a longer time. Depression affects around one in six people in the USA at some time in their lives, and may double their chance of death.
Types of Antidepressants
There are many different kinds of antidepressants, including:
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Venlafaxine (Effexor).
- Mirtazapine (Remeron).
What are antidepressants used for?
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Moderate to severe depressive illness.
- Obsessive compulsive disorders.