What are some mild antidepressants?

Feeling down in the dumps? Need a little pick me up? No need to go running for the hills, there is help at hand! So what exactly are mild antidepressants and how do they help combat depression?

Read on to find out more!

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

First off, we have SSRIs. They work by increasing the level of serotonin in your brain- which happens to be one of those happy chemicals that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Some common SSRI’s include:

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Paxil

Side effects can include nausea (not so great if you’re feeling down already) weight gain (because everyone needs an excuse for a new wardrobe) or sexual dysfunction(oh joy).

But hey – it works, right?

Atypical Antidepressants

Next up we have atypicals.

This class of medication doesn’t fit neatly into any particular category but what we do know is that they act on various neurotransmitters in your brain i.e., dopamine or norepinephrine instead of just serotonin like their SSRI cousins.

Some examples include:


This bad boy is sold under the brand name “Wellbutrin” amongst others.

It helps regulate mood swings by impacting both dopaminergic as well as noradrenergic systems while also lowering seizure thresholds (in other words – not fun) .

Notable side effects includes confusion and dry mouth among others plus its effectiveness seems to lessen over time with repeated use.


Trazodone used mainly as a sleep aid but can be used long term / short term treatment for depression, anxiety disorders even insomnia among many things..

Common ssides effects include drowsiness, headache or dry mouth among others.

Although not technically classified as an atypical antidepressant, it’s a pretty good substitute.


Tricyclics were introduced back in the 50s and work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and plaudits for innovation.

They’ve sorta been phased out since SSRI’s came into play but they’re still relevant nonetheless- so don’t let all that old school talk deter you!

Side effects include dry mouth (again with the parched tongue) , weight gain (what was served?), low blood pressure and many others incluuding altered heart rate etc..

On to some specific examples:


It has multiple personalities — It’s not just used as an antidepressant, because it can also treat chronic pain – ugh I’m hearing voices already. On top of everything else we should mention it’s sedative. Can you say “woozy”?

Notable side effects worth mentioning are potential blurry vision or arrhythmias among other things.


Last but not least we have MAOIs!​​​​​​

This group doesn’t get prescribed a whole lot these days due to its interaction with certain foods that contain high levels of tyramine like aged cheese or red wine 😴😴😴

But anyway, to break it down briefly they work by inhibiting monoamine oxidase which increases dopamine amongst other neurotransmitters i.e., those happy chemicals mentioned earlier.

Examples may include:


One notable example is ‘Nardil’-it packs quite the punch targeting both dopaminergic as well noradrenergic pathways . Its effectiveness is proven however not much fun socially if one wants to keep friends due to dietary restribtions…

Watch out for extreme high fever though when taking this compound and make sure yer doc checks your liver with blood tests routinely.


Another MAOI is ‘parnate-in addition to the serotonin and norepinephrine interactions, it also targets dopamine receptors – this being an older compound there may be alternative approaches nowadays although during some of these tough times its great that they exist.

So..there we have it folks! There are plenty of mild antidepressants out there for us all- just find one that works best for you.

Regardless of which one you choose, always make sure to follow up with your healthcare provider on regular basis-to ensure optimal balance between drug effects / side effect management etc.

Wishing everyone a balanced mental health in advance!

Remember: It’s no miracle cure but used properly could change course of our daily lives!!!

Thanking you kindly…

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