How is Depression Treated?
What is Antidepressant Medication?
What is a Neurotransmitter?
What are MAOI Antidepressants?
What are Tricyclic Antidepressants?
What is an SSRI?
Those Side Effect Sound Worrying?
So Should I Quit Taking Antidepressants?
What Can I Do About Sexual Dysfunction?
What Can I Do About a Dry Mouth?
What are Novel Action Antidepressants?
Are Other Neurotransmitters Under Consideration?
Are Any Companies Considering Non-Neurotransmitter Treatment?
What Should I Expect from My Antidepressants?
What Does "Unbearably Severe" Mean?
I Stopped Taking Antidepressants 8 Weeks Ago - Now What Happens?
The best choice for treating depression is often a combination of treatments, which include talking therapies, medical treatments, lifestyle choices, and natural treatments. It is possible to cure depression with just one of these treatments, such as therapy, pharmaceutical antidepressants, or lifestyle choices but it is much less likely to work in the long term.
Using a combination of treatments for depression gives you the best chance of successfully eliminating the depression. Medical treatments include antidepressants, shock therapy or ECT and some newer, experimental techniques. Complementary therapies include natural substances like omega-3, SAM-e and St John's Wort. Talking therapies are designed to substitute negative thought and behavior patterns for better ones. Lifestyle choices include exercise, diet, sleep, peer support, and spiritual options.
Antidepressants are a type of medication used to relieve the symptoms of depression. There are three main types of antidepressants, which are SSRIs, MAIOs, and tricyclics. There are also others that are referred to as working with novel actions. All antidepressants, no matter what kind they are, work by enhancing at least one of three neurotransmitters in the brain.
A neurotransmitter is made out of molecules, which deliver packets of information between neurons across a narrow gap called a synapse. Receptors on the receiving cell get these information packets. The presynaptic neuron releases a wave of neurotransmitters and sends them to the postsynaptic neuron.
Then the presynaptic neuron removes any remain neurotransmitters in the synapse to make room for the next wave of neurotransmitters. There are two kinds of antidepressants that work by blocking the reuptake action. This keeps the neurotransmitters circulating all the time.
MAOIs, nor monoamine oxidase inhibitors, are an older type of antidepressant. The best-known MAOIs are Parnate (tranylcypromine) and Nardil (phenelzine). These work by blocking the monoamine oxidase enzyme, which allows the neurotransmitters to carry out their usual functions.
These drugs are not prescribed as much as some other types because they can have quite bad side effects, including dietary restrictions because of the risk of hypertension. Some psychiatrists consider that these drugs work very well for atypical depression EMSAN (selegiline) has recently been launched by Somerset Pharmaceuticals and this is a transdermal patch that does not have he MAOI side effects.
Tricyclics, or TCAs, are older depression drugs that block the absorption by the neuron, or reuptake, of the serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. Pamelor (nortriptyline) and Elavil (imipramine) are two of the most popular. The side effects can be as bad as with MAOIs but some psychiatrists believe they might be more potent than single action SSRIs because they work with equal force on two neurotransmitters.
SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, block the absorption of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. Prozan (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) are examples of SSRI antidepressant drugs.
These drugs have received plenty of hype but they are no more effective than MAOIs or tricyclics. SSRIs have fewer side effects however but the side effects they might have include drowsiness, a dry mouth, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and disturbed REM sleep.
The first step is to notify your psychiatrist or doctor if you are experiencing, bad side effects. He or she might alter your doses or try a different type of antidepressant.
For many men and women, Viagra is useful in the case of sexual dysfunction. It might help to switch to Remeron or Wellbutrin or to lower the dosage of your current antidepressant.
Good dental hygiene is important if you are suffering from a dry mouth and drinking a lot of water helps too.
Novel action antidepressants include Serzone (nefazadone), Effexor (venlafaxine), Wellbutrin (buproprion), Desyrel (trazadone), Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Remeron (mirtazapine). The newest is Cymbalta, which gives similar results to tricyclics and operates on norepinephrine and serotonin.
Effexor is older and Desyrel is older than Effexor. These have a weak norepinephrine action but a strong serotonin action. The other novel action antidepressants work on various neurotransmitters via unique mechanisms. The side effects are like SSRI side effects. Wellbutrin and Remeron cause the least amount of sexual dysfunction.
Yes but they have not been successful. Substance P was a disappointment.
Some companies are thinking about neuron rather than neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters live outside neurons, which is why a lot of treatments directed at the neurotransmitters cause side effects and have limited efficacy. There is a variety of chemical processes inside each neuron.
There are no drugs directed at the neurons, which are ready yet. There might be a new drug, which targets the CRF hormone. CRF secretes the stress hormone cortisol and this hormone is thought to be linked to depression. Some companies are currently developing CRF drugs and in the future companies might also investigate gene technology in their antidepressants.
Perhaps the most important advice is not to expect your antidepressants to miraculously cure you overnight. It often takes at least a couple of weeks for the first benefits to be felt and up to a couple of months for the full effect to become apparent. The side effects, on the other hand, often strike you immediately after starting on the antidepressants.
Some side effects such as heightened anxiety usually disappear after a week or so. The first few weeks taking antidepressants will test your patients. Your depression will get you down and the side effects from the pills will seem to make you feel worse rather than better. Unless you are experiencing unbearably severe side effects, you should give your new antidepressants six to eight weeks at least in which to work.
Most new antidepressants bear warning labels, which explain the possibility of akathisia, which is kind of mental agitation. This is a rare side effect and can make you feel like you are crawling out of your skin. Another possible side effect can happen when a bipolar patient has been diagnosed as having clinical depression.
The antidepressant in this case might bring on a manic episode. Bipolar patients can take antidepressants but normally need mood stabilizing medication too. If you feel hyperactive and not yourself, it is a good idea to stop taking the pills and see your psychiatrist or doctor as soon as you can.
Many people find that the first antidepressant they are prescribed does not work. No two depressions are alike and neither are two people. A medication might work well for one person but have no positive effect on another. There is a 50/50 chance of a patient responding well to their initial depressant, as demonstrated by studies.
Another result of these studies is that these odds improve when the patient is tried on a second antidepressant. Different treatment guidelines, including those by the American Psychiatric Association, anticipate an initial failure and suggest that the patient should keep trying. If one class of antidepressants does not work, the guidelines suggest trying another class.
If you are interested in depression stats, you might be shocked at some of the numbers. Approximately 9.5% of American adults suffer from depressive disorders every year. This totals about 18.8 million people and the government statistics on depression only cover the people who seek treatment. Many more suffer alone. 15% of the populations of most developed countries suffer from chronic depression.
The fastest growing group for antidepressants are pre-school kids and 4% of pre-school kids (about 1 million) are clinically depressed. The rate of increase of depression in children is a whopping 23% per year, according to the government statistics for depression. The statistics of depression in kids is particularly worrisome.
30% of women are thought to be depressed. Men's figures used to be a lot lower but now more men that are depressed are seeking treatment, the statistics of depression in men are rising. However, 92% of depressed African American men do not seek treatment.
54% of people believe that depression is a personal weakness and 41% of depressed women are too embarrassed to ask for help. A shocking 80% of depressed people are not currently having treatment and 15% of depressed people will kill themselves. Postpartum depression statistics show that 10% of pregnancies will end this way.
Depression results in more sick days from work than any other illness and cost employers over $51 billion annually in lost productivity, not including pharmaceutical and high medical bills.
When looking at the facts about depression and the statistics of depression, perhaps the scariest is this: by the year 2020, depression is forecasted to be the second largest killer after heart disease. Depression is also a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease.
Antidepressants only work for between 35% and 45% of the population. Recent figures indicate that this could be as low as 30%. Standard antidepressants including Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil have been recently revealed to be more risky than previously thought and are linked to violence, psychosis, brain tumors, abnormal bleeding, and suicide.
All antidepressants except Prozac have been banned in the UK for children. There is no evidence available that SSRI medication works on people under eighteen years old. Placebo antidepressants have been proven to work as well as antidepressants, which prove that natural therapies and self esteem techniques, can work just as well as drugs in most depressed people.
Most doctors advise a combination of antidepressants and therapy but cognitive behavior therapy has a relapse rate of 80% in the long term.
80% of people who visit doctors do so because of depression or depression related ailments, since depression can lead to symptoms like headaches, tiredness and more.
However, in spite of this sobering information, you must not give up because depression is treatable, no matter how severe it is or how low you might feel right now. With our natural help depression kit, you can achieve the state of happiness you found impossible with antidepressants or counseling alone and see the world as a happy place once again.
Teenage girls, like the one in the picture, go through a tough transition from girlhood to womanhood, and the same is true of boys. Nevertheless, teenage moodiness and clinical depression are not the same. Teenage moodiness will pass but depression is an illness and requires treatment. If you are a depressed teenager, talk to someone you trust about how you feel. You are not alone and depression is sadly very common. There is help for you out there. All you have to do is ask for it, and you will be able to feel normal again and enjoy being a teenager once more.
Although some depressed teenagers appear sad, one of the most common symptoms is irritability. A depressed teenager might be grumpy or hostile, or act out a lot. Unexplained pains can also be part of teenage depression. Anxiety, avoidance of social interaction and anger are also common, and various other mental disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also occur along with the depression. Depressed teenagers might do poorly at school.
The problem with identifying depression in teenagers is that many people assume their child is 'just being a typical teenager' when he or she is being grumpy or aggressive. Also children and teenagers do go through phases and can be rebellious or 'testing the boundaries' (which is normal behavior), it is very important to correctly identify depression before it gets worse. Many teenagers have the occasional bad mood or sad spell, and this is not depression. True teenage depression is a serious problem which, if left untreated, can lead to problems at school and at home, self-loathing, or substance abuse.
Teenagers face a lot of pressures, including the changes which puberty brings. The transition from child to adult can also lead to parental conflict as the teenager works out where he belongs, who he is, and becomes an independent adult. Normal teenage moodiness and depression are two very different things.
Look out for irritability, crying, hostility, sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, lack of energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, agitation or restlessness, difficulty concentrating, changes in eating, loss of interest in activities, or withdrawal from family or friends. Any of these can be depression symptoms in teenagers, especially if they are strong and have gone on for some time. If you find it hard to talk to your teenager, try to enlist the help of a friend, relative, or teacher, so you can get to the root of the problem.
A concerned parent or teacher can learn more about depression and express concern if you spot warning signs. Offering support and talking about the depression can help to get the affected teenager back on track.