Discuss Biological Therapies for Depression.

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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.
 are another type of antidepressants. An example of a SSRI drug is Prozac. SSRIs work by just raising the serotonin level. It was originally thought to be free from side effects; however, there have been a lot of cases where patients Prozac have attempted suicide after taking Prozac.

There has been research done to check the effectiveness of SSRIS. Ferguson et al conducted a meta-analysis. They were looking at treatments with SSRI’s and treatment with placebos. It was found there was a risk of suicide in those that were on the SSRI medication. This suggests that SSRIs may not be as effective as some clinicians believe them to be, and it also suggests that instead SSRIs treating depression, they may actually be dangerous to an extent as they can cause depressed people to commit suicide.
However, having said that, Barbui et al found in their research that SSRIs were in fact effective. They found out that although the use of SSRI increased the risk of suicide in adolescents, the risk was decreasing among middle-aged adults, meaning that SSRIs may actually be useful as they can treat depressed people who are middle aged.

One strength of antidepressants is the fact they are the most common type of treatment used for depression. For example, if someone is diagnosed with depression, antidepressants are usually the first treatment that a patient is advised to take by clinicians. This suggests that they must work otherwise the clinicians would not recommend depressed patients to take them if they did not work. So, depression may be caused by biological factors (i.e. low levels of serotonin and/or noradrenaline) since they do treat depressed people. However, having said that, antidepressants do not always work for every depressed person. For example, there are some depressed patients who take antidepressants and yet they still remain depressed.  However, when they use other treatments, such as CBT, their depressive symptoms are relieved. This therefore raises the question of whether depression is actually caused by just biological factors. Surely if depression was caused by biological factors alone, antidepressants should be able to treat every person with depression, but it is clearly evident that this not the case in reality.

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Another strength of antidepressants is the fact that they are easily accessible and cheap. This means that nearly every depressed person would be able to get hold of them and use them if they need to. This is a good thing because for example, if someone is suffering from severe depression, they can be able to get hold of antidepressants quickly and use them before they attempt to commit suicide- the antidepressants may be able to relieve some depressive symptoms quickly which could then stop a person from taking their own life.
However, because antidepressants are easily accessible and cheap, ...

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