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One of the problems with depression is knowing where to start particularly if you’re feeling de-motivated and apathetic. Anti-depressants can kick-start the recovery process and let a little light in. This allows you to see that you can feel better, be more responsive to help and support and that further treatment will be beneficial. Unfortunately, some anti-depressants have had a bad reputation because some of the older drugs have worked but have had side-effects such as drowsiness, blurred vision, heart irregularities, constipation and a dry mouth.

However, a new generation of anti-depressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has fewer side-effects. It is increasingly accepted that depression can be caused by disordered biochemistry within the brain. Nerve cells (neurons) – which take information across the brain – communicate with each other using electrical signals. These signals have to jump tiny gaps between the cells called synapses but can only do so with the help of chemical neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline which are thought to affect mood. Like ferries carry passengers across a river, neurotransmitters carry electrical signals across synapses. Fewer neurotransmitters mean fewer signals can take information across the brain and, in this instance, we can become depressed. SSRIs boost levels of neurotransmitters. Familiar brand names include Seroxat and Prozac.

Antidepressants | NHS
Antidepressants | Mind
Antidepressants | ReThink
Antidepressants | Wikipedia


Antidepressants: I wasn't told about the side effects | BBC News | 9 Aug 2023
Antidepressants: Two million taking them for five years or more | BBC News | 19 Jun 2023
Considering going off antidepressants? Here’s what to think about first | The Conversation | 27 Feb 2023
Exercise is even more effective than counselling or medication for depression. But how much do you need? | 2 Mar 2023
Adults with depression who want to quit antidepressants should be given support on how to do it safely over time | NICE | 17 Jan 2023
Antidepressants can cause ‘emotional blunting’, study shows | The Guardian | 23 Jan 2023
Antidepressant use in England soars as pandemic cuts counselling access | The Guardian | 1 Jan 2021
New antidepressants can lift depression and suicidal thoughts fast, but don’t expect magic cures | The Conversation | 21 Dec 2020
We can no longer ignore the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat depression | The Guardian | 8 Jun 2020
Antidepressants: Please, PLEASE, do not just abandon your meds! | The Guardian | 24 Jan 2020

Medicines Compendium (eMC) UK | eMC

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