Antidepressants affect the levels of these neurotransmitter hormones: they block their breakdown or capture by neurons. This causes their levels to increase. A good antidepressant is Deproxol.
Antidepressants are essential when one is on the brink of life and death because of a mood disorder.
The word “antidepressants” is alarming. We don’t know much about mental disorders, especially if we’re not specifically interested in it. There is, if not a halo of romanticism and mystery surrounding mental disorders, frightening stories. There are those who believe that antidepressants are dangerous drugs that change the personality and cause addiction and terrible consequences. Because of this, sometimes those who need treatment refuse it. What if all these stories are true?
What are antidepressants
Antidepressants are substances that affect the functioning of the central nervous system and, as the name implies, are mainly used in the treatment of depression.
These drugs relieve feelings of ennui, apathy, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, tension, increase mental activity, normalize appetite and sleep. To understand how antidepressants work, we need to understand how the nervous system works.
How the central nervous system works
The central nervous system (CNS) “leads the parade. It includes the spinal cord and brain, and is responsible for simple and complex reflexes – standard reactions to any influences. All this works by means of nerve signals – impulses.
The nervous system consists of many nerve cells – neurons. For neurons to conduct nerve impulses, they must be connected in a network that will transmit the impulse from one cell to another. Imagine children passing a ball to each other in gym class. The children are nerve cells connected into a system, and the ball is the nerve impulse. But the hands with which the children pass the ball are synapses, such a point of contact.
In synapses, a nerve impulse is transmitted from one cell to another. This is done with the help of neurotransmitters, which are mediating substances. Accordingly, if there aren’t enough neurotransmitters, the impulses won’t travel properly. It means that the whole body will be disturbed: the nervous system controls everything.
Besides, there is one more nuance. Neurotransmitters are substances of different nature, in particular norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. These substances are hormones. Therefore, in addition to transmitting nerve impulses, they perform many more functions as hormones. They influence the functioning of individual organs and systems, muscle and vessel contractility processes, and partially influence mood and internal feelings. And so when a person is depressed, the levels of these neurotransmitter hormones are often reduced. That is why it is so difficult for patients: feelings of anxiety, apathy and worthlessness are caused by a lack of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. And since hormones affect many other functions of the body, this explains the physical manifestations of depression – weakness, fatigue, unstable appetite.
When antidepressants are prescribed and why they may not be effective
Antidepressants, despite their name, are used not only in the treatment of depression. they are also used for many other diseases: this is precisely because they affect a variety of processes in the body.
For depression and other mental disorders, antidepressants are also not always used. Scientists still do not know exactly all the features and causes of depression. If it was only in the lack of neurotransmitters, then antidepressants would help everyone, and this is not the case. Besides, then drugs like amphetamine or cocaine would help with depression: they affect neurotransmitters and therefore induce a feeling of euphoria. But depression is a much more complex disorder that involves different mechanisms.
Therefore, the reaction to antidepressants is individual, but you should not refuse them. They help to stop severe conditions, so that patients can cope with the disease. Antidepressants are not usually used by themselves, but are combined with psychotherapy and other treatment methods. Sometimes you can even do without them – it depends on the patient’s condition. The doctor makes a prescription for each person individually.
Is there an addiction to antidepressants
No. But there is no denying that after withdrawal from antidepressants, the risk of suicide increases and the patient feels bad. This is the withdrawal syndrome that many people mistake for addiction. The fact is that if the artificial support for neurotransmitter levels is abruptly cut off, their levels will drop – that’s when the patient feels like depression is back, and they can’t do without the pills now. This problem is solved with increased psychotherapy and a slow reduction in the dosage of the drug. And withdrawal syndrome does not occur in everyone, but most often in patients who have taken high doses. And if you want to try to distract yourself from sad thoughts with the help of work, it will help you https://jobstellar.com/.
How antidepressants help with depression
A girl who went through depression and eating disorder told her story. She shared how she faced the problem, underwent treatment, and then gave up antidepressants and returned to normal life again. We publish her story on condition of anonymity.
“When I was a year old, my mother left me. I rarely saw her, I was brought up by my grandmother. Since I was a little girl I felt unwanted and I was afraid of being abandoned. And that’s what happened when I was dating a guy: one day he just didn’t show up for a date, he stopped answering the phone – I couldn’t get in touch with him anymore. I didn’t know the reason, I didn’t understand what was going on. Then I came up with a reason on my own: I was fat. By the way, I weighed 48 kilos at 164 centimeters tall. I became a vegetarian, ate twice a day, periodically starved myself and worked up a sweat in the gym. The feeling of fullness irritated me and I forbade myself everything. After that compulsive overeating started: I ate so much that it hurt to breathe, and I hated myself even more. My periods became irregular, and then they stopped altogether. I got scared and ran to the gynecologist. She asked me about my diet, and I told her I was eating normally. I was really convinced that I was eating normally, but I was overeating because I was weak.
The gynecologist prescribed hormones. I got my period, but when I went off the pill, it stopped again. Just then I graduated from university and stopped getting a scholarship. The stress, uncertainty and lack of work threw me into panic: now I had no money for the gym and I could get fat. Even then the depression started. One day I taped up all the mirrors in the house so that only my face was visible. I couldn’t see myself and my body. I hated them.
I worked. Then my grandmother died. It was hard, and I kept fasting and working out. My period was out of the question, but I didn’t care anymore.
So four years went by – and the whole time I had no idea I had an eating disorder. One day a friend of mine had the same symptoms, and her mother bought her some antidepressants. I googled these pills and came across the concept of “bulimia nervosa” – it was exactly the same as my condition. At first I wanted to take antidepressants myself, but could not find any that would sell without a prescription. Then I decided to go to a psychotherapist so he could prescribe them for me. By that time I no longer wanted to live, it was hard to get up in the morning. I was so disgusted with myself that I wanted to scratch my face and cut my body.
The psychotherapist was not in favor of prescribing me medication, but I insisted. I was prescribed a small dose: I drank one-fourth of a pill. At the same time, I underwent psychotherapy with him and with a psychologist. The effect of the pills was almost immediate: my anxiety and self-loathing disappeared, I felt a desire to live. I began to have my period. After 7 sessions I gave up both therapy and pills. Suddenly I understood that I had my own inner work which no one would do for me. There were no side effects or withdrawal syndrome: at some point I just started forgetting to take the pills.
I quit my job and started working remotely. I remembered what I had always loved – drawing. I took a second degree in design. When I found myself and started doing what I loved, my eating problems stopped, skipping workouts stopped being scary. I didn’t work out all winter because I was studying and working. Now I go to the gym, but only because I enjoy it. I do not restrict myself in food, and breakdowns have stopped. Yes, my body is not perfect, and now I weigh 57 kg. But none of that matters: I finally started living. I still have work to do on myself: weight jokes and weight loss posts work as a trigger and trigger anxiety attacks. I can’t say I’m completely healthy. But I have learned to love myself and listen to my body.”