Antidepressants are prescribed by medical doctors to treat the symptoms of depression, as well as other conditions such as high anxiety, posttraumatic stress syndrome, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The variety of drugs that fall under the category of antidepressants alter how long specific neurotransmitters are available in the synaptic cleft. For example, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) block enzymatic breakdown, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors block the reuptake of neurotransmitters. Many different neurotransmitters are involved in balancing mood and emotions; finding the right medication for a patient can involve trial and error.
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