Antidepressants Demystified: How They Work and Who They’re For 

Many people shy away from taking medication to treat their depression, thinking that this would be a sign of weakness and that they should just ‘power through’ until they feel better. This is quite illogical – imagine telling someone with a broken leg, or even a simple sprain, to keep on trying to walk on the injury, until the pain goes away!

It doesn’t take long to see that the physical injury will be worsened by not having some kind of treatment – and psychological problems like depression are similar: they will not get better without some sort of treatment, no matter if that is rest, medication, therapy or a change of circumstance. Let’s take a look at antidepressants and see how they work and who should be taking them. 

What Are Antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are a class of medications that work to rebalance the chemistry in the brain. People with depression often feel unmotivated and unhappy with no apparent cause for these feelings. A sufferer can have their dream job, the perfect, loving partner, a wonderful income and all the good things, and yet feel down. T

his is because their brain chemistry has become unbalanced and ‘happy hormones’ are not present in the quantities that they should be. (NB: this is a very superficial picture of what happens with depression and each case should be dealt with on an individual basis by a medical practitioner!) Antidepressants work to undo the effects of depression on an elemental level within the brain. 

How Do Antidepressants Work? 

There are various classes of antidepressant. Some work to ensure that every scrap of the available ‘feel good’ hormones, such as dopamine, is used, essentially making the brain more efficient at mopping up the chemicals responsible for feeling happy.

Others work by stopping other factors in their reduction of positive mood hormone – in this case serotonin – to allow serotonin to build up in the brain, like an accumulation of positive feeling and good mood. However, depression and depressive conditions are still not fully understood as and some of these medications may not work on all depressed patients.

If a case of depression seems to be more than usually resistant to treatment, the suggested solutions are: firstly, to give the medication more time to work; secondly, to introduce a second medication alongside the first (suitably prescribed by a medical professional, of course) and thirdly, to change medications, including to more atypical medications, such as Wellbutrin, which might have a better effect on the condition. Other mediations such as therapy, exercise and changing circumstances can also be encouraged to see if any of these help. 

Who Should Take Antidepressants? 

Perhaps the question should be who should NOT take antidepressants. If someone is having a hard time in life: a bereavement or a divorce, perhaps, financial issues or ill-health – being upset and having a low mood because of these things is not a sign of clinical depression. While some medications can help, especially if the patient is sleeping poorly, eating badly, or otherwise not looking after themselves in an appropriate way, in general, dealing with the problematic issues can see a resolution occurring. Often this just takes time and patience. But to answer the question as to who should take antidepressants: anyone who has been diagnosed with depression or a depressive condition should take the recommended medications. If your doctor thinks it might work for you, try accessing Wellbutrin UK here and see if that improves your condition.


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