Basics on Antidepressant Medications

Antidepressant Medications

The Basics on Antidepressant Medications


Antidepressants are a type of medication that is commonly used to treat mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and panic disorder. They are also sometimes prescribed for people with chronic pain conditions or for insomniacs as a way of dealing with their symptoms. The way antidepressants work is by rebalancing the chemical function in the brain to restore normal activity although they are not on their own a “cure” for mental illness.


The antidepressants most commonly prescribed are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Examples of this type of medication include:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • Paroxetine

How do People Respond to Antidepressants?

Antidepressants take time to “work” and an individual is unlikely to notice any significant change in the initial days of use. They are designed to work over time to improve the symptoms of depression and prevent them from returning. Just as everyone has their own experience of mental illness, the response to antidepressants can vary from person to person.


For this reason it is important to understand how the medications you are prescribed work so that you know what to expect from using it. It is not unusual for a person to find one medication is more effective for them than another. This can only be identified if they take time to recognize if their symptoms have reduced, making it important to maintain close contact with the prescribing physician.


When someone has been using antidepressants for some time, they should not just stop taking them. It is important that the dosage is reduced over time when an individual feels ready to stop using antidepressants. This is mainly because the body builds a natural resistance or tolerance to substances when used regularly and antidepressants are no different in this regard. Although people may not necessarily become addicted to antidepressants, there is a possibility of developing dependence on all types of medications.

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There is no one size fits all approach to treating mental illnesses. At CASA Recovery, we design custom mental health programs for each client admitted to our exclusive mental health treatment center in Orange County. Find out more about treatment using antidepressants by contacting us at CASA Recovery today.