What Are Antidepressants

3 minutes

IN BRIEF: In this post Counselling Psychologist Swekriti writes about what ANTIDEPRESSANTS are, and the importance of consulting a Psychiatrist for prescription. She also offers TIPS on the subject.

Antidepressants is a prescribed psychiatrist medication for depression. These do not cure the depression but help reduce the symptoms.

How Do Antidepressants Work

Antidepressants work on the brain chemicals, helping the nerves in the brain to communicate well with each other. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. There are different type of antidepressants that work differently on different neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, and nor-epinephrine.

Depression occurs dues to a imbalance in these neurotransmitters (brain chemical) affecting ones emotions and moods, leading to mood swings and feeling low. Antidepressants thus works on bring back this balance in the brain. These antidepressants work on the neurotransmitters which in turn help the brain cells to communicate better and regulate the mood.

What Are The Side effects

Antidepressants do have side effects but those do not apply to all. Each person responds differently to each antidepressant. One needs to keep in mind that these medication works on the brain chemicals and should be taken only when prescribed by a psychiatrist. Self diagnoses and medication can worsen the issue as well as the side effects.

Antidepressants can cause side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, constipation, headaches, weight gain, increased hunger and many more. These can be controlled by consulting the psychiatrist. Although side effects, it is important to continue the medication as it takes few weeks to show its effect. Thus it is not a quick fix method. In the meanwhile what can work well is exploring self help strategies like lifestyle changes, regular exerciser and psychotherapy.

Getting off The Medication

Getting off the medication can be managed well if done with the help of a psychiatrist. Abrupt stoppage of the dose can have severe withdrawal symptoms making the process of recovery even more difficult. Going cold turkey on the medication will not help, it is a gradual process which might take a couple of months as well.

Important Points To Keep In Mind

  • Follow the instructions properly, they are there for a reason. Getting on and off according to how one feels will only make is the process worse.
  • Antidepressant should be taken under the guidance of a psychiatrist only and not a general physician.
  • It is a process and will take a little while, to first get used to it and then work on the brain cells, hence patience is the key.
  • Keeping a track of all the side effects and reporting it to the doctor is important.

Further Reading On Depression

Here are some articles to help you understand and to offer TIPS on tackling Depression:

10 Tips To Beat Depression

Am I Just Feeling Low Or Is It Depression?

Swekriti Bhatnagar

Swekriti Bhatnagar is your special friend from YourDOST team. She is a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Christ University. She is experienced in dealing with adolescent and relationship related issues. She believes in the power of communication and that everyone has the ability to change. Through YourDOST she wants to help people vent out their worries and wishes to make a difference in the lives of people