Monday, April 7, 2014

The Top 4 Anti-Depressants Found on the Social Work Exam

We all know how important it is for Social Workers to ask and understand what medications someone we are serving might be taking, as it gives us more information about how to assist them appropriately. Even though we are unable to prescribe medications or give any type of medical advice, it's still important to be knowledgable and understand how medications work:  




1) Tricyclics- These were one of the first anti-depressants used to treat clinical depression as they help provide a reuptake of Norepinephrine and Serotonin (SNRI) this allows for more of these two happy hormones to transmit more often in the brain. Unfortunately, there are many harmful side-effects of this drug and as a result, they are not prescribed as often. 

2) MAOIs- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors- is a natural enzyme that breaks down serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. MAOIs block the effects of this enzyme. As a result, the levels of those neurotransmitters are higher. This drug is very dangerous when combined with other drugs and will therefore typically not be prescribed first.

3) SSRIs- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.  These drugs will stop the uptake of serotonin and will allow that happy hormone to continue transmitting in the brain.These medications are the go-to for depression because they seem to be safer and have less side effects. 

4) NDRIs- Neurotransmitters Norepinephrine Anddopamine. These drugs will make sure that both happy hormones, Norepinphrine and dopamine, reuptake in the brain. They are often used instead of SSRI's because they don't cause sexual side effects. 

For more information about these medications and an awesome video on how they work CLICK HERE to connect to the Mayo site where this information was found. 

Did you know that there are organizations that focus solely on meeting the client where they are and believe that medications are not always the quick-fix answer to solving mental health disorders? What are your opinions on the use of medications and the idea of our mental health system recommending medications for patients when sometimes talk therapy could be just as effective? It's a hot topic and I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments section.

It's always important to think critically about these issues, especially when studying for the exam as it will help you to logically read and understand the case example questions.

1 comment:

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