For those coping with depression, antidepressant medications may be a very effective way to ease feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Antidepressants work by managing your mood through your brain’s circuitry. Your brain uses chemicals called neurotransmitters to help communicate different types of messages. Three of the main chemicals that play a role in affecting your mood include norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Antidepressants help lift your mood by adjusting one or more of these three key chemicals so that they can be more effectively transmitted through your brain’s circuits. The exact process by which antidepressants work is unknown.
There are many different types of antidepressants. Collaboration between you and your doctor, along with trials of different medications, will help you to figure out which antidepressant may work the best for you. Not everyone experiences side effects, but if you do, let your doctor know. Read our post on side effects to find out more.
Studies have shown various effects of antidepressants for the treatment of depression. Adjusting the balance of these chemicals in your body can be very sensitive. Having a discussion with your doctor is the best way to consider antidepressants as a course of treatment.
To learn more about antidepressants, visit WebMD: Depression and the parents’ guide to medications from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in consultation with a National Coalition of Concerned Parents, Providers, and Professional Associations.
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