As described previously, depression has neurovegetative signs. These include:
- sleeping too little or too much
- problems with poor concentration
- low energy
- problems with memory
- feeling hopeless, helpless and/or worthlessness
- feeling suicidal or violent
- getting no pleasure from life
- having decreased sex drive
- being withdrawn
In this first blog on medication I will talk about SSRIs, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors. (The SSRIs are a group of medications that block the reputake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter.) This has the effect of improving depression after 5 to 6 weeks. In the depressed state, the level of serotonin is low, and by blocking the reuptake, it increases the perceived amount.
These medications include:
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Celexa (citalporam)
- Lexapro (escitalpram)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
All of them are now available in generic form, and a decision to choose one would be made between the doctor and the patient.
In each case, the medication works as follows:
- In the first 2 weeks, sleep and appetite improve
- In the third, fourth, and fifth weeks, concentration, energy, and memory improve
- In the fourt to twelfth weeks, anxiety and depression begin to improve. So other symptoms get better before the mood and anxiety improve.
This is true with the entire class of medication.