What Are the Benefits of an Antidepressant Medication?

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Antidepressants are prescription drugs used to help change the brain chemistry of people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety. While antidepressants, like most other medications, do carry the risk of side effects, there are many potential benefits to this type of drug therapy.

  1. Mood Changes

    • Antidepressants work to increase the "feel good" chemicals in the brain and usually can go a long way toward treating depression, according to MedlinePlus.

    Appetite Regulation

    • Depressed people tend to either eat more or less depending on their mood, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Antidepressants typically help regulate appetite to normal levels.

    Promotion of Sleep

    • Those who are depressed either sleep too much or too little, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Antidepressant drug therapy usually helps patients with sleep regulation.

    Improved Concentration

    • Poor concentration and loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities is associated with depression. Antidepressants usually aid in concentration, according to MedlinePlus.

    Considerations

    • Though some antidepressants can possibly increase suicidal thoughts in people under age 24, some studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health show that the benefits in chemically treating depression in young people usually outweigh the potential risk.

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