About 16 million Americans experience a major depression each year, and at any given time about one in ten adults is taking antidepressants. There are many different ones available, in what can seem like a bewildering variety. In this book, Dr. Mendelson makes sense of the many treatments for depression, and shows that understanding how antidepressants work can help in making better decisions.
This book begins with a non-technical, lavishly illustrated introduction to how antidepressants affect the brain, and a more general presentation of how drugs are absorbed and processed by the body. The second section describes the various classes of antidepressants, including how they work, how long they stay in the body, their interactions with other medicines, side effects, and things to consider when choosing a particular one. The third section provides guidance if things are not improving, such as changing or adding medicines, as well as non-medication alternatives including psychotherapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Finally, there is a presentation of related depressive disorders such as seasonal affective disorder, dysthymia, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Written with both scientific rigor and compassion, Understanding Antidepressants is a useful guide for anyone suffering from depression, as well as their families. It is written broadly enough to be a helpful introduction for students and trainees, and mental health workers with non-technical backgrounds who wish to learn more about these commonly used medications.
What Readers Are Saying:
“I am a practicing psychiatrist and am pleased that this book has been written and is available to the patient audience. In this publication, an important gap in knowledge between the prescribing physician and the patient struggling with depression is masterfully addressed. Knowledge by the patient about what antidepressants are and how these important medications work is a necessary step to successful treatment.
Rudyard Kipling once wrote “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind”. Unfortunately, in the time-limited sessions between patients and psychiatrists today there is little opportunity for words and understanding between the patient and doctor. What was once a therapeutic relationship has become a 15 minute (or less) encounter. I am hopeful that this excellent book might improve this situation and lead to better health. If it were possible, I would hope every patient prescribed an antidepressant for whatever reason would have the opportunity to read Dr. Mendelson’s book.”– Steven P James, MD
“Dr. Mendelson rightly points out that millions of Americans regularly take antidepressants, some for years or even decades. Sadly, the majority of consumers and probably many prescribers have minimal knowledge about these drugs. This book is for anyone who has been prescribed a drug for depression. It’s written so patients can understand the reasons antidepressants work and what to do if the response not optimal. While the book is not specifically targeted at healthcare providers it contains information that nurses, physician assistants and primary care physicians will find useful.”– Russell, Amazon Reviewer
About the Author:
Wallace B. Mendelson MD is a Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Chicago (ret), and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has written several books and numerous scientific papers, primarily in the fields of psychopharmacology and sleep medicine. To learn more, go to https://www.zhibit.org/WallaceMendelson
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