|>> || I'm not opposed to using SSRIs and SNRIs, they do at the very least seem to help treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder and are potentially capable of helping some people at least get suicidal depression under control, giving them a chance to work on improve things in their life, attitudes, and outlooks, but they do virtually nothing in the way of actually treating depression outright. |
Side-effects are typically limited to having trouble concentrating at first, yawning a lot (and it feels weird to yawn), paradoxically having trouble sleeping sometimes, having trouble waking up after getting to sleep, have sexual dysfunction. Withdrawal can make getting off of them a bit of a challenge because it starts to cause rebound depression, anhedonia, bouts of vertigo, brain zaps, etc.
Really, I wouldn't start taking them unless it's as a last resort or unless you have a significant anxiety problem coupled with your depression. Clinical depression is hypothesized to be the result of an imbalance of key neurotransmitters (what your doctor was referring to by saying you have low dopamine and serotonin levels), but there is virtually no evidence suggesting this to actually be the case and there's actually quite a bit that suggests the hypothesis is without basis and possibly totally bunk. It's what's taught, so it's understandable your doctor mentioned it to you, but I'm a bit irked at them specifically telling you that you have low dopamine and serotonin levels. The only way to test for that is to check your piss for levels of certain metabolites that indicate a possible lower or higher level of dopamine and serotonin. It's not actually a given/a fact that you have lower serotonin and dopamine levels--the doctor is literally talking out of their ass when they say that.
That said, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will likely have better results for you, even if in combination with an SSRI, at treating your depression than the SSRI will. The SSRI just seems unnecessary unless you've got your back to the wall and need to just try anything as a last resort. Most studies on clinical depression now suggest a causal link to elevated stress levels and the patient's brain's poor ability to cope with stress in relation to depression. Substances that improve the brain's ability to deal with stress (both physical and mental) seem to have higher success treating depression, even ones that act, in contrast to the chemical imbalance hypothesis (and that it's low serotonin in particular), as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Enhancers rather than inhibitors, reducing levels of brain serotonin. Developing mental resiliency, developing stress coping techniques and skills, and being prescribed medications that improve the brain's ability to mitigate stress and anxiety seem to have a much greater chance of success than simply prescribing and SSRI because that's the only real treatment we have at the moment.
You see, the reasoning behind the chemical imbalance hypothesis is totally fallacious. You can look it up on google if you want, but it's hunches and assumptions based on more hunches and assumptions. Improvement or deterioration in mental state was observed under certain circumstances and it was just assumed that it was for greater levels of serotonin and norepinephrine (dopamine too, but less so) or lower levels respectively, but it was never investigated further. There were no further experiments with controls designed to actually determine what was actually leading to the improvements or deteriorations, they just ran with something and pharmaceutical companies wound up making enough profit from it that it's gotten a good foothold on the market and consensus in the medical community.