Many people suffer from depression, even young children. Psychiatric therapy is no longer the closely-guarded secret of the rich and bored. Literally all urban dwellers undergo therapy and medication for depression at some point or the other. But are antidepressants safe? What are the pros and cons of taking anti-depressants, especially if you are a child?
What Is An Antidepressant?
The human body generates several feel-good hormones such as endorphin, norepinephrine and serotonin. Several physical conditions such as diabetes and mental trauma can cause these hormones to reduce, which results in depression. Your body needs these chemicals for a happy mood; when your body does not get these chemicals, you’ll feel sad no matter what.
Antidepressants work by slowing the removal of feel-good hormones, or neurotransmitters from the brain. The help restore the brain’s chemical balance and relieve the symptoms of depression.
The following are the five main kinds of antidepressants that are commercially available. You’ll get them under different brand names, but the chemical composition will be one of the following:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Noradrenaline and Specific Serotoninergic Antidepressants (NASSAs)
Pros Of Antidepressants
- Antidepressants Can Be Prescribed For Children: Antidepressants are an effective method of treating depression in children and adolescents, especially those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder or other mental health conditions. These conditions must be treated effectively if the child is to live a fulfilled, normal life. The threat of suicide is ever present, the more the depression is allowed to continue. Therefore, it is fortunate that antidepressants can be prescribed for kids so that they can be cured of emotional illnesses before their futures are spoilt.
- Antidepressants Are Used To Relieve Multiple Issues: Antidepressants can be used effectively to control depression, eating disorders, chronic pain and anxiety disorders.
- Antidepressants Help Boost Mood: Antidepressants are prescribed to boost the patient’s mood and in effect, increase the efficiency of psychotherapy. While boosting one’s mood, antidepressants modify one’s behavior, making one more socially acceptable.
- Antidepressants Can Help Cure Insomnia: A person suffering from insomnia can lose interest in daily activities; in fact, the person’s professional and social status can be affected due to insomnia. Antidepressants can help modify mood, tone down insomnia and regulate a person’s life.
- Antidepressants Can Be Prescribed To Pregnant Women: Though it is advisable to reduce all kinds of medications while pregnant, if a pregnant woman is suffering from chronic depression and must be medicated, certain antidepressants can be prescribed. These will filter down to the baby in very tiny amounts and will not cause harm to the baby.
- Antidepressants Can Be Prescribed To Breastfeeding Mothers: A baby that’s 2 or 3 weeks old has a very effective kidney and liver. The baby’s system will be able to break the medications down and get rid of them, similar to the way an adult’s system does. The actual risk to the baby’s health is very small. Certain antidepressants like nortriptyline, sertraline and imipramine get into the break milk in tiny amounts. Still, any pregnant woman or breastfeeding woman will be prescribed antidepressants only if there’s no other option. The good news is, even if she were prescribed antidepressants, it is now possible to ensure baby’s safety.
Cons Of Antidepressants
- Slow Benefits: It takes about 30 days for antidepressants to have any effect on your system; even when they start working, results show that patients get very little benefit from anti-depressants.
- Can Increase Suicidal Behavior: Antidepressants have warnings about suicidal behavior in children. If a child is suicidal, prescribing antidepressants might make his or her obsession with suicide even worse. If a child who’s not on antidepressants has only a 2 percent chance of developing suicidal thoughts, with antidepressants, it’s a 4 percent chance.
- Antidepressants Can Cause A Host Of Negative Side-Effects: Various antidepressants cause all kinds of side effects, ranging from a very dry mouth, to a slight tremor, fast heartbeat, constipation, sleepiness, weight gain, confusion, trouble passing urine, vertigo and fainting owing to low blood pressure and so on. People with heart trouble and diabetes are not recommended to take anti-depressants. Antidepressants can reduce a man’s ability to maintain an erection, and achieve a satisfactory ejaculation. An overdose of antidepressants can also kill a person.
- Antidepressants Can Increase The Risk Of Agitation: If the depression is moderate or serious, there’s always a prevalent threat of self-injury. Doctors will need to think carefully before prescribing anti-depressants, because they can slightly increase the risk of agitation, causing both suicidal tendencies and accidents in some people. Antidepressants when combined with blood pressure issues can give cause to physical loss of balance, causing falls and accidents.
Author: Alex Higgins write for SelfDevelopment.net where you can download nlp training courses from world’s best hypnotists.