What Medication Is Commonly Used To Treat Depression?

Today, doctors understand mental health in more ways than any of the founders of psychology ever thought possible. The standard treatment for depression today is combining therapy with medication and a good support system. Anti depression medicine is a great step toward correcting the chemical structure of a patient dealing with the condition. However, antidepressants are complicated and it is essential you understand them before you take them.

What Are Antidepressants?

Simply, these are drugs that help patients to manage the debilitating symptoms of depression by up-regulating good mood-inducing chemicals. Additionally, doctors also prescribe them for other mental health conditions and even as pain killers. Antidepressants work to counteract the loss of interest and persistent sadness that is common in patients. It also helps the patient to have clarity of thought and increases motivation, sleep, memory, and eating. The doctor may recommend TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Simulation when medication and therapy fail to work.

Do You Need the Treatment?

The most common signs and symptoms of depression usually include persistent hopelessness, despair, sadness and other negative emotions. Many people dealing with these symptoms may have gone through a tough emotional episode or have lost a loved one and attribute their symptoms to their grief. If you notice these feelings are common and constant within two weeks, you must visit a doctor for treatment options.

You must also pay keen attention to your moods so the doctor can clearly understand what is going on. For instance, depressive moods that change suddenly to happy ones may indicate a different condition. Also, if your sad feelings are accompanied by a lesser need for sleep and heightened energy levels, you could be dealing with something else.

Types of Depression

Depression can come in different forms, each unique, depending on the cause or the chemical changes causing it. Some forms of depression include:

  • Bipolar depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Seasonal depression
  • Clinical depression or major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Atypical depression

What Conditions Do Antidepressants Treat?

The FDA has approved them for several therapies and the most common conditions include the following:

  • Bulimia
  • OCD or Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Bipolar depression
  • Major depressive disorder and other common depressive conditions
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
  • PTSD or Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

What Are the Different Types of Antidepressant Medication?

Some of the oldest antidepressants that were developed early on are tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Today, they are reserved for treatment-resistant depression. However, while they are also available for anxiety disorders, they have many side effects and doctors will only prescribe them in dire situations.

The most popular antidepressants that doctors prescribe today for management of depressive symptoms are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Doctors may also prescribe a variation of this, serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These improve your mood by changing the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin chemicals.

Atypical antidepressants work effectively to change the levels of key neurotransmitters that affect negative emotions. Serotonin modulators, and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists are also common options with similar results.