Depression and Anxiety Medication works by altering how the brain's chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) function

Before going into any detail about the different types of depression and anxiety medication, it's useful to point out that the decision to take any form of prescription medication lies with YOU and your doctor.

If you are reading this information and are taking a prescription drug mentioned here, and have NOT also been

a) thoroughly made aware of the possible withdrawal symptoms of the drug, or the addictive consequences

b) also been referred to a therapist,

c) offered a natural alternative,

then I would like to venture that you GET A SECOND OPINION.
All these medications have side effects and may cause dependency (addiction).

A good question to ask may be :
What happens when I stop the medication?
Having said this, depending on the form of depression or anxiety condition you are experiencing, medication may form a part of your treatment.
If you are going to be on any form of depression and anxiety medication, decide in advance to be on it for the SHORT TERM and whilst on it, take an ACTIVE role in your own recovery.

Follow doctors advice before you stop your medication or change your dosage.

There may be serious consequences if you do not follow medical advice with regards to this (that's how dangerous some of these medications can be).

Also..... Learn about your condition - but don't get too fixated on "labelling" yourself.

Remember that NO-ONE can be be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN about what goes on in our heads and why.

Our individual mental history, and our layering of experiences and beliefs results in the INFINITE COMPLEXITY and ABSOLUTE UNIQUENESS of our mental experience.
Whilst considering depression and anxiety medications, please also take time to learn what TRIGGERS your anxious or depressive states.

Take responsibility or your own thoughts - investigate "Anchoring" in order to "scramble" the triggers.

Learn about change of state and living in the now (as opposed to some imagined, horrible, sad or fearful moment in your IMAGINATION OF THE FUTURE).

Learn how to FIX faulty, fearful , victim oriented thinking patterns.

Understand how a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, whether due to toxicity, environmental factors, or even genetics, will alter the normal biochemical pathways in your body, and cause anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other disease states.

See Mood/brain chemisty.

Once you have read Mood/brain chemisty you will understand the logic behind supplementing (cheaply and safely) with vitamins and minerals, as opposed to only considering using depression and anxiety medication(expensive and possibly dangerous).

*The decision to start using depression and anxiety medication needs to be carefully considered - with full knowledge of the life threatening and addictive consequences of some of the medications - very few of which are ever clearly spelled out to the hapless consumer.


that said....on to the information you were curious about:

MAOIs - Monoamine oxidase inhibitors:

MAOIs are depression and anxiety medications that depress the production of Monoamine Oxidase(MAO).

MAO is an ENZYME which increases the availability of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Noradrenaline.

In other words an MAOI will SUPPRESS the release of Dopamine or Noradrenaline.

MAOIs are highly effective in treating depression that does not respond to other types of medication.

People taking MAOIs must stay away from certain foods
(eg no cheese, yeast extracts,soy products, and limited alcohol) in order to avoid serious side effects.

Here's a list of MAOIs used for depression and anxiety.

TCAs - Tricyclic antidepressants:

Up until the 1990's TCAs were the first choice for medicinal treatment of depression.
Because there is no need for dietary restrictions, as depression and anxiety medications, TCAs are easier to use than MAOIs - but the TCAs tend to produce side effects.

They have now largely been replaced by the SSRIs and other newer drugs.

TCA's are still used to treat resistant or refractory depression that has not reponded to SSRI treatment.

They are also used in the treatment of pain and ADHD.

Examples of TCAs are found here.

SSRI's - Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors:

These are the antidepressants most often prescribed.

They make Serotonin more available in the brain by preventing it from being reabsorbed in the pre-synaptic cell.

SSRIs have fewer side effects than TCAs and MAOIs, and are tolerated a lot better by many people.

Here are some common SSRIs.

SNRIs - Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors:

A newer type of antidepressant drug.

They inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine AND serotonin by the pre-synaptic cells in the brain.

Useful also for treating pain.

Find SNRIs here.

Benzodiazepines - the tranquilizers:

Benzodiazepines increase the efficiency of the neurotransmitter GABA.

The function of GABA is to slow or calm things down and so Benzodiazepines are most often prescribed for anxiety or sleeping problems.

Also see GABA in the Biochemistry of Happiness.

Here's a list of Benzodiazepines.
...and just to emphasize the point about side effects....
I'd like to encourage you to explore the links and investigate and CONSIDER the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms of depression and anxiety medication before you hand over your physical and mental health to pharmaceuticals.

Have a look at the video about pharmaceutical greed.

There are links to side effects on the drug listing pages.

Consider also, your other options.

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