Depression is considered one of the most common psychological disorders that affect adults in the United States. It is estimated that nearly 10% of American adults are affected with different types and degrees of depression, including bipolar disorder and dysthymic disorder. An antidepressant is often the initial treatment of choice when severe or moderate depression is diagnosed. It is meant to help manage or reduce the symptoms of depression but is by no means a cure for the disorder.
An antidepressant is a type of drug that is used to deal with certain types of depressive disorders. It is used to stabilize mood and ensure mental stability in patients who suffer from conditions such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic and anxiety attacks and obsessive compulsive disorders.
The history of antidepressants:
Up until the early 1950s, opiates, amphetamine, and extracts from St. John's Wort- in spite of being highly addictive- were commonly used to help treat symptoms of depression. Then in 1951, two physicians from Staten Island began searching for an effective tuberculosis medication via anti-tuberculosis agents isoniazid and iproniazid. The doctors found that their cure worked: their patients' conditions in terms of their tuberculosis drastically improved. However, a secondary effect was observed: curiously enough, patients were also reported as having a renewed vigor as well, hence resulting in the world's official first- even if accidental- antidepressant.
What are the Types of Antidepressant medications?
There are four major types of antidepressant medications. These types include:
- Trycliclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).
All of these drugs have an effect on certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression. When there is an abnormality in neurotransmitters and their activity, it can affect mood and often behavior.
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