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What are antidepressants?

March 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Addiction, Antidepressants, Mental Health

What are antidepressants?

What are antidepressants?

Anti-depressants are drugs that were originally made in the 1950’s to treat depression. Despite being called anti-depressants, these drugs are now used to treat a variety of conditions such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain and more. Anti-depressants work to balance the chemicals in the brain. The neurotransmitters in the brain that make a person happy are known as serotonin and when an individual has a low level of serotonin it can cause symptoms of depression. Antidepressants balance out the levels of serotonin the brain. This usually takes a few weeks for them to have their effect. There are several different types of antidepressants.

Who takes antidepressants?

Nearly anyone who needs antidepressants takes them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 11 percent of people in the United States are taking antidepressants. Antidepressant use has increased exponentially, around 400 percent from 1994 to 2008. More than 1 in 5 women ages 40-59 are taking an antidepressant. Women and adolescent girls are 2 ½ more times likely than men and adolescent boys to be taking antidepressants. Around 4 percent of all adolescents aged 12-17 are taking antidepressants. Antidepressants are the second most prescribed drug in the United States. Antidepressants are used only behind pills for high cholesterol according to IMS Health.

Why do people take antidepressants?

People take antidepressants for a number of reasons depending on what their doctor thinks is best for them. Today antidepressants are used to treat more than just depression. So usually people take antidepressants if they are dealing with some kind of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, panic disorders, depression and even chronic pain. People take antidepressants also for addictions, to quit smoking and so much more.

What are the side effects of antidepressants?

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches

While some side effects go away after the first few weeks of drug treatment, others persist and may even get worse.

What are the benefits of antidepressants?

When combined with therapy, antidepressants can alleviate the symptoms of depression and make living life with a mental illness more manageable. Antidepressants increase levels of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin in the brain making an individual happier. A lack of serotonin can cause feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Antidepressants relieve the feelings of sadness. Antidepressants have a direct impact on an individual’s level of happiness too. Because the brain retains serotonin, antidepressants cause an improvement in mood. Antidepressants can also help someone get their life back. For the individual whose depression or mental disorder has caused them to lose many things in their life including a stable emotional state, antidepressants can give them their life back. Antidepressants can help them function in the world again. Antidepressants have the benefit of giving someone the ability to live life more productively.

 

http://www.healthylifect.com/home/article/Do-You-Need-Antidepressants-3445187.php

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/10/20/141544135/look-around-1-in-10-americans-take-antidepressants

http://medweb.mit.edu/mentalhealth/mh-antidepressants.html

 

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