Biological Therpies for Depression

Biological therapies for depression

Drug therapy

  • Main focus of model is drug therapy

  • Large variety of drugs which alter neurotransmitters, like serotonin, in your brain in an attempt to help with the depression

  • Examples of drugs used are

  1. MAOI’s, which blocks the enzyme which creates serotonin.

  2. Tricyclic antidepressants, which blocks re-uptake of serotonin and noradrenaline by neurons.

  3. SSRI’s, which blocks reuptake of serotonin and is often the most popular choice.


  • Drug therapies are much cheaper and quicker than psychological therapies. (+)

  • Quicker therapies are going to be a much better option for those who are suicidal (+)

  • The cheapest of drug therapies is good as it means it’s available to everyone suffering from depression, some people may not be able to afford things like CBT. (+)

  • Has less of a stigma attached to, so people more likely to take them(+)

  • The drugs tend to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression but they don’t help with the underlying cause of the depression. (-)

  • People often relapse, which could mean the drugs aren’t as effective as people believe. (-)

  • Anti-depressants may be less appropriate for children and teens as they may not work well with the biological changes in the brain and so aren't compatible with the brain chemistry.(-) (Ferguson et al- teens who toke SSRI’s had increased risk of suicide)

  • The symptoms are likely to return if the patient stops taking the drug, so the patient will have to be on them indefinitely. This means the patient will be dependent on the drug. (-)

  • Unwanted side effects e.g. nausea to suicidal thoughts (Prozac has


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