Antidepressant Drugs

By: johnsonlawgroup
Today there are a variety of drugs in the mental health field that can be prescribed to help us feel better. As with any illness, depression and other mental health disorders can overwhelm our lives. Antidepressant drugs prescribed and administered by a health care professional can promote a healthier state of mind so that we can lead productive lives as human beings.

With the advent of Prozac in the late 1980's came other well-known selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant drugs such as Paxil. SSRIs act specifically on the neurotransmitter serotonin. This neurotransmitter facilitates cell to cell communication in the brain by inhibiting the return of serotonin to the sending cell and thereby making it available to be received by another cell. However, other antidepressant medications interact not only with serotonin, but also with other neurotransmitters throughout the body.

True, SSRIs such as Paxil have fewer side effects than some of the older drugs in the tricyclic category or MAO inhibitors, for instance. This is because SSRIs react with only one chemical - serotonin - whereas tricyclic antidepressants and MAO inhibitors interact with other chemicals in the body.

When initially developed, the new SSRI drugs such as Paxil were promoted to help individuals cope not only with depression but many other everyday maladies such as timidity, fear of rejection, low self-esteem, jealousy and many more. The successful marketing campaigns made such drugs household names almost overnight. This, combined with endorsements by psychiatrists and celebrities, led the lay people at large to believe that this was indeed the new drug of choice. Of course, the media hype helped the promotion of such ideas, although there was minimal scientific information published regarding the SSRIs.

However, with time, the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of SSRIs drugs such as Prozac or Paxil have become more pronounced as more patients taking such drugs have come forward to share their experiences. The impact of any new drug on the market takes time for a more in-depth evaluation, especially in the mental health field where treatment takes a great deal of time. Health care specialists point out that there are many conditions to be considered when applying antidepressant treatment, and interaction with other drugs, for example, is just one concern.

Antidepressant drugs are not a panacea, a feel good forever pill. Nevertheless, Prozac, Paxil and other such mental health medications do help many people who suffer from deep depression to social behavior disorders. Psychiatrists point out that in adults with severe depression, clinical results indicate that antidepressants are more effective than other treatments. Successful antidepressant drug treatment is very dependent upon the individual state of mind and is administered over a period of time. It's not a magic pill that enables us to feel good immediately after taking it.

Documented cases show improvement in mental health disorders with SSRI medications such as Paxil. Many patients strongly believe that antidepressants have helped them in overcoming low self-esteem, gain confidence, and in general, feel better about themselves. Antidepressants may also be prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), premenstrual syndrome, eating disorders such as bolimia and even chronic pain.

In general, mental health care professionals note that antidepressant medications help people feel better, but over a period of time, and that such drugs are not happy pills. As individuals, we each must consider that what applies to some of us may not work for others and that antidepressants are only one remedy among other alternatives.
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