Monday, March 17, 2014

Depression and the Role Medication, Anxiety and Stress Play in Treatment

Depression can occur to anyone at any time.

  • Sudden loss of a loved one can trigger depression and it's quite normal.

  • Loss of a job creates depression.

  • It's common for waves of sorrow to hit a mother that lost a child, even years after the loss occurred.

All of these things are normal and are the way a person grieves for a loss and last short periods. When the length and severity of depression decreases as time passes, then it's the normal grieving process. If however, it continues and worsens with no visible mental or physical indication of changing, you might have clinical depression.

Why Depression Occurs - Depression sometimes occurs because of the chemical composition of the brain according to some theories. While the theory of brain chemistry imbalance is still a theory and not fact, some people find that medication makes them better. When you consider the potential chemical imbalance, it occurs in a variety of ways.

The person may change as they reach adulthood, drugs, been that way all their life, had a brain injury, hormonal change such as menopause or pregnancy or an illness that caused the chemistry to change. In this case, re-balancing the chemistry with prescription drugs is important to help the person overcome the debilitating effects of depression.

Loss And Depression - Some people face loss and for a variety of reasons fail to overcome the sadness and fall into the range of clinical depression. Depression may occur for seemingly no reason at all. One day the person seems quite normal and suddenly they begin to lose interest in life and everything around them. Occasionally, people seem driven, almost manic, in order to mask the underlying depression. When it finally takes hold, it's a sudden and noticeable change in personality and mood.

Help Is Available - Regardless of the cause, there is help. Several different types of therapy help the victim of depression function back on a normal path in life. There are also medications that assist them as they do. In cases where the depression comes from a chemical imbalance in their brain, these medications may be necessary for the balance of their life.

Only a trained psychiatrist can evaluate the patient and make recommendations. People with mild depression often make great strides with just therapy and no psychotropic drugs. More severe depression may require the addition of medication to make strides.

Depression Medication - The anti-depression medication increases the levels of serotonin in the brain to a normal level. While the medication, such as Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft and Luvox create an immediate change in the level of serotonin; it takes longer to affect the symptoms of depression. For this reason, many scientists now take a closer look at the way the drugs work.

Newer drugs called atypical antidepressants affect other neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and nor-epinephrine but may also increase the serotonin levels. These drugs include Remeron, Desvrel, Serzone, Effexor, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin.

All of these drugs have side effects similar to those found in those that increase just the serotonin levels. The side effects may include sleepiness, nervousness, dry mouth, fatigue, weight gain and blurred vision. Occasionally the drugs cause more severe depression with suicidal tendencies.

But Does It Fix The Problem - Simply taking a drug doesn't necessarily fix the problem that caused the depression. It's not only helpful but also mandatory to maintain a schedule of visits with a trained psychologist and psychiatrist when you take these types of prescription drugs for depression.

The drugs help lift the depression so the therapist can help you make headway toward the discovery of the reason and perhaps a solution. Because of the potential for severe side effects, which include a potential for suicidal tendencies, it's mandatory that you take every precaution to keep the appointments for therapy when taking prescription drugs for depression.

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