Depression & Antidepressants

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Drugs Used In Mental Illness: Antidepressant And Antianxiety Drugs

Major depression and mania are two extremes of affective disorders which refer to a pathological change in mood state.


DEPRESSION

 

Major depression and mania are two extremes of affective disorders which refer to a pathological change in mood state. Major depression is characterized by symptoms like sad mood, loss of interest and pleasure, low energy, worthlessness, guilt, psychomotor retardation or agitation, change in appetite and/or sleep, melancholia, suicidal thoughts, etc. In bipolar disorder cycles of mood swings from mania to depression occur over time. The mood change may have a psychotic basis with delusional thinking or occur in isolation and induce anxiety. On the other hand, pathological anxiety may lead to depression.

 

 

ANTIDEPRESSANTS

 

These are drugs which can elevate mood in depressive illness. Practically all antidepressants affect monoaminergic transmission in the brain in one way or the other and many of them have other associated properties. Particularly over the past two decades, a large number of antidepressants with an assortment of effects on reuptake/ metabolism of biogenic amines and on pre/postjunctional aminergic/cholinergic receptors have become available so that a cogent classification is difficult. The following working classification may be adopted.

 

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