What are SSRI’s?
Depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world, affecting about 18.8 million American adults. Specialists say that individuals who pursue quick and effective treatment usually are able to see improved symptoms within a week of treatment. Over 50% of patients suffering from depression are treated with antidepressants. What are antidepressants? Most patients consume them but do not have a full understanding of what antidepressants are and how they work. A recent MedicineNet article provides an in depth analysis of antidepressants and the effects they have on your body.
The most commonly used antidepressants are SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRI’s concern themselves with serotonin, a neurotransmitter that most scientists believe to be responsible for mood and behavior disorders. SSRI’s disable reuptake pumps in nerves cells in order to increase the level of the serotonin available in the brain. With these increased levels of serotonin, the sending of messages through the nerves is heightened causing patients to be more alert, reactive and happier.
While SSRI’s are a very crucial part of the treatment process for depressed patients, SSRI’s possess numerous very dangerous side effects that patients are unfamiliar of. Some common side effects include: weight gain, drowsiness, insomnia, diarrhea and sexual dysfunction. The more serious side effects that are not readily discussed are seritonin syndrome and SSRRI dependence. Serotonin syndrome is when the patient experiences uncontrollably high levels of serotonin causing the brain to become dysfunctional. SSSRI dependence is when the brain, because it is so dependent on the SSRI’s, stops functioning normally. It is crucial to pair any sort of pharmaceutical treatment with clinical counseling in order to become less dependant on the SSRI’s and more dependant on yourself. To find out more about Depression visit the NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurosciences department.