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Drugs, Society & Human Behavior - Essay Example

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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants SSRIs as well as other antidepressants are increasingly being prescribed for depression treatment in many patients in many hospitals…
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Drugs, Society & Human Behavior
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Download file to see previous pages With regard to the fact that depression is often caused by reduced activity of the brain chemical such as serotonin and dopamine, these antidepressants often work by improving the activity of the neurotransmitters. For example antidepressants of the class monoamine oxidase inhibitors work by preventing the enzymatic degradation of monoamine neurotransmitters while at the same time inhibiting the main functions of monoamine oxidase. These actions often results in increased neurotransmission since the increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain. Generally antidepressants such as SSRIs work by inhibiting and preventing the reuptake of serotonin and this eventually leads to increased activity of serotonin in the main brain synapses. On the other hand TCAs and MAOIs have a number of properties that help boost the levels of serotonine in the body. There are also many other common antidepressants which achieve their therapeutic actions by reducing the reuptake of norepinephrine as well as influencing the activity of various nerve cell receptors. The therapeutic application of SSRIs and the other antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs often come with both their benefits as well as a number of risks associated with them. Some of the benefits of these drugs include the fact that they are significantly effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression and many personality disorders. On the other hand some of the limitations and risks of using antidepressant drugs such as SSRIs include low efficacy as well as a number of adverse effects on some patients such as agitation, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, headaches, nausea and increased cases of suicidal thoughts. (Barlow and Durand, 37). With regard to the potential risks of using antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs, psychologists should always use a sound rationale in the prescription of these mental health medications. In this regard, these drugs should only be prescribed when necessary under the supervision of a medical practitioner. 2. Fetal alcohol effect (FAE) and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) Although the diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol effect and fetal alcohol syndrome are almost similar, Fetal Alcohol effect is generally less serious and its diagnosis is based on a number of both mental and physical effects on the unborn baby as a result of persistent prenatal exposure to alcohol (Kelly and Streissguth, 144). On the other hand, the diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol syndrome is primarily based on the physical manifestations of the effects of alcohol consumption by the mother during the pregnancy. Generally some of the common physical manifestations hat are often used in the diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol syndrome include low fetal weight and abnormal facial characteristics such as small eyes that are often wide apart, small head, flat face and thin upper lips. The characteristics of Fetal Alcohol syndrome are particularly more evident in infants whose mothers consistently consumed huge amounts of alcohol during the first trimester when the formation of the facial structures is still undergoing. The fact that some infants born to drinking mothers may not display observable physical or mental characteristics of alcohol effect does not necessarily mean that alcohol exposure did not have any detrimental effect on them during the prenatal exposure. This is particularly with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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