Diagnoses of depression and chronic anxiety are ever-increasing. And yet, natural remedies for depression still have a much too limited audience.
Along with anxiety and depression comes the conventional solution to those who seek professional medical help.
These include antidepressant medications, most often in the form of SSRI and SSNI -selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective serotonin & norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, respectively. Prescriptions for these types of drugs have risen exponentially in developed countries since the 1980s.
People of all socioeconomic groups take antidepressants, including children. (1) In the U.S., the number of people taking antidepressants has risen 400% since 1988. (2) In Canada and Australia, these numbers doubled in the same period. (3)
How Antidepressants Drugs Work
The theory behind antidepressant medications is the stimulation of hormone production in the brain (serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and others).
In the case of SSRI/SSNI, chemicals in the drugs prevent neuroreceptors from re-absorbing them so the hormones stay longer in the brain.
A common experience when taking an SSRI or SSNI is an initial increase in serotonin in the brain but no immediate relief from feelings of depression until weeks later.
There are many troubling pieces of this complicated puzzle, the greatest of which is that researchers don’t really understand how SSRI work.