By Mckenna French
An antidepressant is a medicine to help treat depression and other mental illnesses. They work by transmitting nerve signals to corresponding receptors in the brain. But are they really helpful? And if so, are the side effects worth it?
According to NHS, there are different types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs can include - anxiousness, loss of appetite, stomach aches, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, etc. Common side effects of TCAs can include - dry mouth, blurring of vision, drowsiness, weight gain, excessive sweating, heart palpitations or tachycardia, and more. Potential health risks may occur while taking antidepressants, as well as serotonin syndrome, hyponatraemia, diabetes, and suicidal thoughts.
There are times when these side effects and health issues don’t show up in people on antidepressants. According to Very Well Mind, antidepressants will affect different people in different ways. “While the antidepressants in a class will tend to have similar side effects and mechanisms of action, there are differences in their molecular structures which can influence how well the drug is absorbed, disseminated, or tolerated in different people,” the article states. People tend to have a variety of reactions to any medication they are taking that the next person does not experience.
Though antidepressants are one of the most common ways to treat depression, there are other alternatives. These alternatives include, counselling, interpersonal therapy, exercise and self-help groups. For more mental health resources, visit https://www.verywellmind.com/national-helpline-database-4799696