Brain doctors agree: The 15 million U.S. adults who are battling major depression are suffering from a real medical illness. Studies point to a shortage of the brain chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, the neurotransmitters that ferry messages between nerve cells. Doctors have no test to determine which ones are lacking, but there are drug therapies available to boost them.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Serotonin is made from amino acid tryptophan; it regulates mood and appetite. SSRIs such as Paxil and Zoloft raise serotonin in the gaps between brain cells to normal levels, and for some patients, this helps lift their mood.
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) As a key message sender for those nerves that command your body without input from your brain, norepinephrine controls your response to ultrastressful situations. Low brain levels of it have been linked to depression-related symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, sleeping too much, agitation, and trouble concentrating. SNRIs such as Effexor and Cymbalta work by blocking brain cells from removing both serotonin and norepinephrine.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) TCAs, such as amitriptyline and imipramine, are the modern-day precursors to SSRIs and SNRIs. They're just as effective but they act more broadly in preventing the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine, so they may not be tolerated as well.
Studies suggest that for some people, they may take longer to kick in; can cause weight gain, drowsiness, or low blood pressure; and may even affect heart rhythm.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, the oldest class of antidepressants, deactivate a protein called MAO-A that deplets neurotransmitters. The side effects of these drugs are nasty, but research into how MAO-A works may help develop new therapies. In a study published late last year in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that depressed patients lose neurotransmitters at different rates based on the number of monoamine transporters found on the surface of their brain cells and elevated MAO-A.
These findings help explain why patients with more transporters have more severe symptoms, says study leader Jeffrey Meyer, M.D., Ph.D. "We now have a more precise disease model for developing more effective and targeted treatments."
As Doctors and Psychiatrists continue to study, and find new drugs and chemicals to combat depression there is a common lesson in all these studies. Our brains have immense control over our entire body, psychology, and well-being. Where studies fail in grasping is the absolute control an individual has over their mind and thoughts. Studies are performed on a subject with symptoms receiving a dosage of medication and measuring results.
The studies fail in creating a mental shift in order for the individual to create new levels of Serotonin in their brain. Studies are paperwork; the human mind and individual are capable of anything they choose. A mind can create a vision or dream, and then create a life through that mindset. You have the complete power to be great and create a dream-infused life today.