Antidepressant medications are a popular treatment choice for depression and are used to relieve symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, and worthlessness . They work by balancing the levels of neurotransmitters, chemicals responsible for communication between neurons in the brain . There are several types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) .
In addition to depression, antidepressants have FDA approval for the treatment of other medical disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . They may also be used to treat chronic pain in some cases .
The effectiveness of antidepressant medications varies and opinions are divided. Some people consider them to be essential while others doubt their effectiveness . The right antidepressant for a person depends on their individual symptoms and needs, and if the first one doesn’t relieve symptoms or causes side effects, they may need to try another .