Should you treat your depression with medications?

You might be asking your healthcare provider this question if you have been feeling low and your friends and family have mentioned this to you. Your provider might have mentioned medication if your mood interferes with work, family or socializing for more than two weeks. Some people with depression might even have legal troubles linked to outbursts.

How do antidepressants work?

Various antidepressant medications are available for prescription use. There is no single best antidepressant, and the best one for you depends on your symptoms and individual needs.

Usually, antidepressants help balance the levels of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals responsible for communications between neurons in the brain. These chemicals include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Higher levels of these chemicals usually correspond with lower levels of depression.

While antidepressants can be helpful in depression, effectiveness varies from patient to patient. How long the drugs stay in your body also varies. Some drugs stay in your body for about 36 hours, while others last as long as several days.

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