Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, but their side effects and trial-and-error nature often leave something to be desired. According to some studies, they are only about 50 percent more effective than placebo. Still, they are, for now, the best treatment we have for a disease that many people find crippling.
Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of depression. Some people doubt they help, while others consider them to be essential. But as is true for many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations, and not in others. They are effective for moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not for mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.
The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of depression, such as feeling very sad and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. The medications are designed to restore emotional balance and help people to get on with everyday life. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, sleep problems and suicidal thoughts.