In the midst of discussions about mental health and medication, you’re bound to come across a description of antidepressants as ‘happy pills’.
This is usually paired with some words about how people are ‘popping’ said pills like Tic-tacs.
There’s a major problem with this description: Antidepressants don’t actually make you happy.
There’s a reason antidepressants are called antidepressants, and not ‘mood boosters’ or ‘happymakers’: It’s because they work to reduce depression.
That’s what they’re capable of doing (for some people). The most common antidepressants are SSRIs, which work to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to affect mood, emotions, and sleep, in the brain. The idea is that if you up the serotonin, you’ll lessen the symptoms of depression.
Take that bit in: We’re talking about lessening the symptoms of depression, not piling on positive emotions to fill that space.
They work on low levels of serotonin by increasing them. They don’t add excess serotonin when your brain has plenty.
Antidepressants don’t make you happy. Instead –… Read the full story