Anxiety Depression Treatment

Antidepressants


Many people suffering from depression are reluctant to acknowledge the disease or to take proven effective medication. This is because of the stigma of acknowledging they have what is widely perceived to be an unacceptable illness (a mental disorder) and fear of the possible side-effects of the medication, such as character changes, addiction and agitation.

Some side-effects do occur with drug treatments, but it is worth bearing in mind that codeine/paracetamol medicines, readily available without prescription, may cause sleepiness, constipation, addiction, chronic headaches and liver and kidney poisoning, yet few people hesitate to take them.

Antidepressants are drugs specifically designed to overcome the problems in brain chemistry that cause depression. They are much more specific than painkillers. The SSRI drugs (marketed as Prozac, Seroxat, Lustral and many more) work specifically to raise the levels of serotonin in the brain. Others raise the levels of noradrenalin. Lack of these mood-enhancing substances can cause depression. Raising their levels, a process that usually takes about ten days, is usually very helpful.

There are side-effects but they are often mild, short-lived and pale into insignificance as the depression improves. Slight nausea, sleepiness, agitation, and a certain amount of dependency are common. Dependency probably occurs because depression can be a chronic disease. You must be vigilant just in case a dependence forms so you can immediately take action. Like Type I diabetes, where insulin injections are necessary every day, depression is a disease that may be present all the time unless medication is taken to relieve it. Therefore a person who becomes reliant on his medicine does so because that is what is needed to keep him feeling well.

Anyone who has diagnosed themselves or seen a doctor who has diagnosed depression should think positively about taking antidepressants. For most people they work very well and relieve the depression.

Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes only. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have, or suspect you have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.