SSRI antidepressants, according to research published in the February issue of Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, may increase serum levels of serotonin, but actually lower levels in the brain. This family of drugs blocks the re-uptake of serotonin by nerve tissue, which raises serum levels but actually lowers levels where we need them the most -- in the brain! This would make it more difficult for depressed patients to feel less depressed. In fact, it is common, for the first few weeks of treatment with SSRI antidepressants, for patients to feel more depressed. This is now more understandable.
As psychiatrists have become more interested in psychopharmacology than psychotherapy, they have relied very heavily on SSRI antidepressants. It is time to rethink about the best approach to help people who are depressed.