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Word Count: 1,195
Taking the Pill Depression and Social Stigma Depression is widespread in todays society and is called the common cold of mental health problems But despite its prevalence people are wary about the use of a pill in order to chase the blues away Some even liken anti-depressants to Soma as depicted in Aldous Huxleys Brave New World Soma is the perfect pleasure drug that provides a mindless inauthentic happiness which makes people comfortable with their lack of freedom Depression is often disregarded as a serious illness Society as a whole stigmatizes depression and sees anti-depressants as a way out instead of a legitimate medicine But the people that feel this way often have not had any personal experience with this illness The physical basis of depression involves neurotransmitters in the brain Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages from one nerve cell to another Nerve cells do not touch There are microscopic gaps between them called synapses For a nerve impulse to travel from one nerve cell to another the sending cell releases a tiny amount of one of the neurotransmitters which transmits the signal to the second cell and so on around the body After a nerve impulse has been sent across a synapse special enzymes clear away the neurotransmitter so that another impulse may be sent The first antidepressants monoamine oxidase MAO inhibitors were discovered accidentally during the 1960s by researchers who were trying to develop new drugs to treat tuberculosis MAO inhibitors didnt help TB but they elevated mood Since then many other types of antidepressants have been developed They are all about equally effective But the newer drugs are safer and for most people have fewer side effects In order of their development here are todays antidepressants MAO inhibitors Tricyclic medications Tetracyclic medications Wellbutrin Desyrel Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRI Effexor and Serzone The anti-depressant that is known by most people is
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