Depression is a mental disorder that can have a negative effect on how you feel, think, and behave. It is marked by feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness that last for more than a few days. Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression. They can help improve your mood and give you more energy. Some common antidepressants include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro). If you are thinking about taking antidepressants, it is important to speak with a psychiatrist who can help you understand your symptoms and choose the best treatment option.
1. What are antidepressants?
Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression. They can help improve your mood and increase energy.
2. How do antidepressants work?
Antidepressants work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mood and mental health. Serotonin helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion. It is also involved in memory and learning. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. By increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, antidepressants can help improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.
Norepinephrine is another neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mood and emotion. It is also involved in the body’s stress response, and levels of norepinephrine are often increased in people with depression. Antidepressants can help to regulate levels of norepinephrine, which can improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression.
3. What are the different types of antidepressants?
There are many different types of antidepressants, and they work in different ways. Some common types of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant and are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Some common SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another type of antidepressant that work by increasing levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. SNRIs are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Some common SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a type of antidepressant that work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. TCAs are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Some common TCAs include amitriptyline (Elavil) and imipramine (Tofranil).
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a type of antidepressant that work by inhibiting the action of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. MAOIs are used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Some common MAOIs include tranylcypromine (Parnate) and isocarboxazid (Marplan).
4. How long do I need to take antidepressants?
The length of time you need to take antidepressants will vary depending on your individual situation. Some people may only need to take them for a few weeks, while others may need to take them for several months or longer.
5. Are there any side effects of taking antidepressants?
Yes, there can be side effects associated with taking antidepressants. Some common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, weight gain or loss and sexual problems. Some people may also experience serious side effects, such as increased anxiety or thoughts of suicide.
Antidepressant side effects can be managed by adjusting the dose or switching to a different medication. If you are experiencing side effects from mental health medication, it is important to speak with your doctor.
6. Are there any other treatment options for depression?
In addition to medication, there are other treatment options for depression. These include therapy, lifestyle changes, and self-care. Additionally, there are non-medication treatments for depression, like TMS, that are safe, effective and covered by most insurance. Speak with your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
5. What should I do if I think I need antidepressants?
Although mood and anxiety disorders are highly treatable, many people struggling with their mental health go a long time between developing symptoms and receiving appropriate treatment and support. Early intervention can make a big difference by saving a person and their loved ones from stress, developing more serious symptoms, and reducing the likelihood of problems with work, family, school and substance misuse. If you think you may need antidepressants, it’s important to speak with a psychiatrist. They can help you understand your symptoms and make a recommendation for treatment.
Antidepressants and Psychiatry in Los Angeles
Depression is a real, highly-treatable mental health disorder that can negatively impact the quality of life if it’s left untreated or partially treated. Antidepressants are one treatment option that can help improve your mood and increase energy if you are struggling with symptoms of depression. There are many different types of antidepressants, and they work in different ways. Other treatment options for depression include TMS, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and self-care. Speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants.
Finding excellent psychiatric care can be hard—vetting psychiatrists, filling prescriptions and keeping current with ongoing appointments. At Neuro Wellness Spa Psychiatry in Los Angeles, we make it easy. Our expert team of psychiatrists and nurse practitioners offer convenient, affordable appointments that can be scheduled in-person or online. Plus, our psychiatry appointments are covered by most insurance, so you can focus on what’s important. Contact us today to get started.