Antidepressants

Antidepressants are prescribed by medical doctors to treat the symptoms of depression, as well as other conditions such as high anxiety, posttraumatic stress syndrome, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The variety of drugs that fall under the category of antidepressants alter how long specific neurotransmitters are available in the synaptic cleft. For example, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) block enzymatic breakdown, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors block the reuptake of neurotransmitters. Many different neurotransmitters are involved in balancing mood and emotions; finding the right medication for a patient can involve trial and error.

Answer the following questions:

How do antidepressants, such as MAOIs and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work? Why might an MAOI work for one person and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor work for another?

There have been reports of antidepressants being associated with an increase in suicides in some demographic groups. Does research seem to support this claim? If this is true, discuss why antidepressants might be related to an increase in suicides for some individuals.

Is it ever recommended that people stop taking antidepressants once prescribed? How might it benefit some to engage in therapy while taking antidepressants? Explain how cognition and neurochemistry are related. How might a change in activities and environment lead to a change in the neurochemistry of the brain?

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