What Are the Benefits of Antidepressants?

By Bronwyn Timmons

Antidepressants are often prescribed by mental health professionals to treat clinical depression. Antidepressants may also be prescribed for other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. When combined with therapy, antidepressants can alleviate the symptoms of depression and make living life with a mental illness more manageable.

Antidepressants Increase Levels of Neurotransmitters in the Brain

Serotonin is a chemical naturally found in the brain that works as a neurotransmitter. This chemical is crucial for normal brain function, and many professionals believe it plays a vital role in mood. A lack of serotonin can lead to feelings of sadness, apathy and hopelessness. Antidepressants slow down the rate at which serotonin is removed from the brain, leading to more "balanced" moods. Some antidepressants, known as tricyclic antidepressants, work off of more than just serotonin. These antidepressants target various neurotransmitters and help the brain block the usage of each of them to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Antidepressants Can Make You Happier

While most professionals do not use antidepressants or medications as the only form of treatment, antidepressants can have a direct impact on your level of happiness. Because the brain retains serotonin, your mood should improve when you are prescribed an antidepressant by your doctor.

Antidepressants Can Help You Get Your Life Back

If your depression has had a serious impact on your life to the point where you are unable to function, antidepressants can help you get back to your daily routine. Depression can make even the smallest tasks such as getting out of bed in the morning difficult. Taking antidepressants to alleviate your symptoms can lead to living more productively.


Not everyone responds to antidepressants in the same way. Some patients do not respond to antidepressants at all, or they experience an increase in their symptoms. Some patients require a process of trial and error when it comes to antidepressants. They try several different types before finding one that works.

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