There are 322 million people with depression in the world. In Brazil, the condition affects almost 12 million, that is, 5.8% of the population. The disorder is already a reality and has only increased — the incidence of cases grew by 18% between 2005 and 2015 around the globe.
It is no wonder that the consumption of medication to treat depression has taken off in recent years within the country. Antidepressant use has increased by 74% in 6 years. According to the survey carried out, 61,859 units of medication were sold in 2016.
The discrepancy between the number of individuals with depression and the use of drugs to combat it also demonstrates a lack of understanding of the problem. There are different names of antidepressants found and even so, they are still underused.
The effects of antidepressants are relevant for better treatment, as well as knowledge. Thus, it is essential to present some concepts to elucidate the theme still little explored.
Depression and depression remedy
As the name implies, antidepressants are mainly used to treat cases of depression — although other disorders also use such drugs. Because of this, it is necessary to understand the nature of the primary condition.
According to the MSD Manual , “Depression disorder is a feeling of sadness intense enough to affect job performance and/or reduce interest or pleasure in activities.”
In addition, the emergence may occur as a result of some recent loss or a sad event. “But it is disproportionate to the event and goes on for longer than would be normal”, he adds.
For the diagnosis to be verified, the individual must have had depressive symptoms for at least 2 weeks. And there is no exact prediction on when the condition will improve. For this, it is necessary to carry out treatment, which includes medication and psychotherapy.
How do antidepressants help?
The depressive condition usually has biological conditions. In the case of the disorder, it is common to observe in people a certain deficiency in the neurotransmitters of the brain, which causes a worsening of the condition.
Neurotransmitters are responsible for carrying out communication between neurons. And, once deregulated, they end up harming the functioning of the organism and causing variations in mood and emotions. So, it is possible to observe the deficiency in the uptake of serotonin , norepinephrine, dopamine and other neurotransmitters.
And what are the effects of antidepressants ? Well, drugs seek to increase the availability of neurotransmitters in order to better control the chemical system that is deregulated. In this way, medicines help to reduce the symptoms caused by depression. However, the results are not immediate and it may take a few weeks for the person to feel the effects.
How are they medicated?
The professional responsible for recommending the use of these drugs is the psychiatrist. He is the figure capable of understanding the context of each patient and prescribing the necessary medicine. To this end, he considers aspects such as the medical condition presented, age and symptoms.
However, it is worth noting that there is no best antidepressant . There are different types of medication and each works in a unique way. The diversity occurs to meet the plurality of cases presented to psychiatrists.
In this sense, antidepressants are not the same and do not work in a similar way for each one. In fact, it is not difficult to find cases in which medication changes are carried out to find the best medication that suits the patient.
Also, it is important to recognize the side effect of antidepressants . Medications usually show certain symptoms in the first few weeks that may not be so pleasant. Because of this, it is necessary to inform the person responsible for the medication about the risks it can bring.
When to stop taking antidepressant medication?
Although obvious, it is necessary to emphasize: never stop taking medication without medical advice. The health professional knows the effects of the medicine and what its sudden lack can cause in the body. So don’t make decisions alone. It is up to the doctor to advise this.
In addition, the person will never stop taking what was prescribed at once. There is a progressive decrease of what had been happening. Such conduct is taken to avoid a “rebound” effect on the person, that is, that he/she returns to feel the symptoms that were already controlled.
If you suffer from depression , know that therapy is one of the most important forms of treatment. Telavita can help you in this fight. The online platform has a range of options for trained and specialized professionals.