As I was watching football and cheering on my team, I noticed that there were several commercials during the game intermission about antidepressants. As a Jets fan I can see the need for it since being a fan for certain losing football teams can make you depressed to the point that you need antidepressant medications. Seriously, it’s only a game we are watching which is supposed to entertain us. Regardless of the outcome, one should not need an antidepressant.
How Does It Work?
There are different types of antidepressant medications based on their function in the body. I will be discussing those that are known as SSRI drugs. In scientific terms SSRI means selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These SSRI drugs are used to treat depression, anxiety disorders and personality disorders such as paranoia and schizophrenia. SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. They don’t increase the production of serotonin but rather prevent (inhibit) the body from absorbing it. Keep in mind that this explanation is in simple terms.
Serotonin is known to regulate moods and is responsible for creating a happiness sensation. So the more you have, the happier you are supposed to be. Serotonin is also associated with regulating sleep, appetite and healing (wounds). For a small chemical, it does a lot in your body. This chemical is mostly found in the GI tract (stomach and intestines) of your body but it helps regulate the central nervous system.
Once your doctor has diagnosed your disease, then come the treatment options. There is a large antidepressants list for treatment options but for now we will be focusing only on SSRIs. The following prescription drugs are the most common SSRI antidepressants available: Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex), Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Fluvoxamine (Luvox) and Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral).
The questions that needs to get narrowed down is what kind of symptoms do you have and what your body can tolerate in terms of side effects. Even though all of these drug have the same function, they react to the body differently. These differences are mostly based on the chemical properties of the prescription drug. As a result, most of the side effects of Wellbutrin will be the same as the side effects of Prozac but each will treat the same symptom differently. That is a conversation to have with your doctor.
Which SSRI works for you?