How do anti-depressants work?

Zoloft. This is the main pill I focused on in this article.

Zoloft. This is the main pill I focused on in this article.

Have you ever wondered what that blast of sadness was? People get that at least once in their lifetime. Maybe how to fix it? Most people would just have a simple fix like hanging out with a friend group, or have a nice bath. However, some people don’t have it that easy. Some people have it for longer and stop them from doing things, this “it” is called depression.


So what is depression? Depression is a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you doing your normal activities, according to the BetterHealthChannel website. Does depression have its treatments? Yes! They’re called antidepressants, but unfortunately do have some downsides.


To start off, according to the MedlinePlus website, antidepressants are medicines that treat depression. Your doctor can prescribe them for you. They work to balance some of the natural chemicals in our brains. It may take several weeks for them to help. There are several types of antidepressants. You and your doctor may have to try a few before finding what works best for you.  One of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants is Zoloft. 


Some other definitions you need to know to understand antidepressants would be:

  • SSRI – a type of antidepressant drug that inhibits the reabsorption of serotonin by neurons, increasing the availability of serotonin as a neurotransmitter and Serotonin
  • Serotonin — 5-Hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT — is a naturally occurring chemical found in intestines, blood platelets, certain cells and the brain. Serotonin is a derivative of tryptophan, a natural amino acid, and is concentrated in the midbrain and hypothalamus — two areas responsible for mood, sleep and aggression.


My main point in this article is to see how antidepressants work. According to HowStuffWorks, an SSRI antidepressant like Zoloft acts as an air traffic controller in the brain. It commands serotonin to circle the runway before landing, causing a critical delay that allows the brain’s neurons to more effectively absorb the optimal amount of mood-boosting serotonin.  This means that the pill sends neurotransmitters to the brain allowing serotonin to pass and go through.


What are the downsides of this magical pill? According to VerywellMind, some of the more common negative effects that people may experience with antidepressants include anxiety, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, feeling numb, insomnia, nausea, sexual side effects, weight gain.