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Discuss Biological Therapies for Depression.

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´╗┐DISCUSS BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES FOR DEPRESSION (24 MARKS) There are two biological therapies that could be used for depression. One biological therapy for depression is antidepressants. Antidepressants are drugs that relieve the symptoms of depression. They are used to treat moderate to severe depression. According to the biological theory, neurotransmitters cause depression. For example, if a person has low levels of serotonin and/or noradrenaline in their brain, this will cause them to become depressed as there would be an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in their brain. Antidepressants work by increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters so, according to the biological perspective, antidepressants should get rid of or suppress depressive symptoms. Tricyclics are one type of antidepressants. These work by raising the level of serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. They have been shown to be effective and have fewer side effects than MAOIs and other kinds of antidepressants. MAOIs are another type of antidepressants. These work in a rather similar to tricyclics, that is, increasing the level of serotonin and noradrenaline, however, they are usually prescribed if the tricyclics do not work. This is because patients will need to change or restrict their diets as certain foods may react badly to the drug. SSRIs are another type of antidepressants. ...read more.


However, not everyone who takes Prozac will attempt to commit suicide. In fact, it has proven to work effectively for most people. So, it is better for a depressed patient to take antidepressants and get better (even if it means getting a few side effects) than to not take antidepressant which may cause the depression to get even worse. So, it seems as though there are advantages and disadvantages of using antidepressants. Whilst some argue that antidepressant are a good treatment and work effectively, it is important to note that there are also other treatments such as CBT that also work and have fewer side effects than antidepressant, so the patients do not always have rely on antidepressants. Another biological therapy for depression is ECT. ECT stands for electroconvulsive therapy. It was introduced in the 1930s but frequently misused causing physical and emotional damage. However, it is used safely today. Before the treatment begins, patients are first given sedatives and muscle relaxants. They are given sedatives so that the treatment can begin whilst they are asleep. They are also given muscles relaxants so that they do not hurt themselves during the treatment. Oxygen is also given to them so that they can be able to breathe during the treatment. ...read more.


Also, it is questionable as to whether depressed people are well enough to give their informed consent when it comes to receiving ECT treatment. For example, if a person is severely depressed, they may agree to receive ECT treatment even though they may not know how it works because all they will care about is to rid of their depressive symptoms. This just goes to show that the patients cannot then give their informed consent as they will not know all the information about ECT. However, having said that, since ECT has proven to work, it can still save someone?s life, especially if they are severely depressed, because it can stop a person from committing suicide. So, it seems that ECT works for some people, and it is quicker, to an extent, than antidepressants because changes are usually noticeable even after one section of the treatment, whereas, antidepressants usually takes at least 2 weeks for a person so see changes. However, it is important note that both antidepressants and ECT do have side effects which can put a person at a risk. For example, Prozac can cause a person to attempt to commit suicide, whilst ECT can cause a person to develop an anxiety disorder. It is also important to note that there are also other treatments such as CBT which offer less side effects than ECT and antidepressants. ...read more.

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