common depression medication 101

Depression is described by many people as a mood disorder. Essentially, it is an illness that comprises of thoughts and moods of a person. It affects a person's normal way of thinking, eating, sleeping, and the way they feel about themselves. It is characterized by a deep sadness, emptiness, fatigue, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.

The most common depression medication is antidepressant medication. This medication has been associated with some confusion, as some people argue that it does more harm than good. Even with the arguments, mental health professionals contend that anti-depressants have their place in decreasing depressive symptoms.

Depression medication can be prescribed along with other modes of treatment like psychological therapy in mild to severe instances of depression. They are also prescribed when other modes of treatment have been unsuccessful or cannot be used because of illness or lack of availability.

For example, if someone has been to a counselor for a long period of time talking about their depression and trying to work through their issues, yet the depressive symptoms keep getting worse and worse, the doctor may then have her try an anti-depressant along with therapy.

Generally, people suffering from severe depression need some type of medication, and these may comprise of anti-psychotic medication, mood stabilizers, or general antidepressants. Some of the most common depression medications include:


This is an antidepressant drug and can be found in brand names like Elavil and Endep. It helps in treating depression by elevating the mood through enhancing the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. It can also be used as a sedative for depressed patients with nervousness, restlessness and insomnia. It can also treat symptoms related to chronic pain.


This drug works by disrupting the uptake of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are constantly released and retaken by nerves to facilitate communication between nerves. It is generally agreed that an imbalance in the amount of neurotransmitters in circulation causes depression. This drug therefore inhibits the uptake of these neurotransmitters, thus availing them for inter nerve message transmission.

It is available in brand names such as Zyban and Wellbutrin. Zyban also helps in the cessation of smoking.


This drug is commonly available as Buspar. It treats depression by lowering anxiety. It works against anxiety by stimulating receptors specific to serotonin in the nerves. The net effect of this is that it alters the chemical messages that nerves send to each other. Unlike other depression medication, Buspirone does not sedate the patient.


Available in pharmacies as Celexa, this depression medication treats depression by altering chemical transmitters in the brain. Altering these neurotransmitters is important because they are the chemicals used by nerves to interact with adjacent nerves. When they are not in equilibrium, depression is likely to occur. This drug specifically disrupts the uptake of the neurotransmitter, serotonin after its release by nerve cells.

This action is important in getting rid of released neurotransmitters and ending their activity on adjacent nerves. By reducing the uptake of serotonin in the brain, it results into in the cerebral column to vitalize nerve cells. The overall result is that the brain becomes more relaxed.


This also works by interfering with neurotransmitters in the brain. It targets serotonin, thus availing more of it to attach to brain receptors. Chemically and structurally, Escitalopram shares a lot of similarity with Citalopram, they both belong to a class known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).


This depression medication takes advantage of the positive charge on the lithium atom. This charge enables it to interfere other charged particles on cell surfaces such as potassium, magnesium and sodium which are essential for cellular functions.

Its effects are felt within one week of commencing treatment with the full effects being visualized in three weeks.

If you’re struggling with depression and nothing you do seems to help, reach out for some help from a mental health professional, parent, or another person who can direct you in the right position. 

You should not have to suffer from depression any longer, as there are adequate treatments to help you overcome depressive symptoms.  Reach out for help today.

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