5 Simple Actions that Induce an Antidepressant Effect on the Human Brain

A myriad of unpleasant side effects and variability in long-term effectiveness lead many individuals with mental illness to seek alternative remedies.

Alexandra Piedoux
8 min readApr 12


Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

One could argue that the modern-day world is experiencing an socially, emotionally, and economically debilitating mental health crisis. An equally justifiable counterargument would assert that the mental health crisis, which has existed for a long time, only recently began receiving the attention that it warrants. Simply put, it’s nothing new. Just new on society’s radar.

Of course, by recently, I’m referring to the latter half of the past century and beyond — the last 70 years or so. Regardless of which school of thought you identify with, the consensus is fairly unanimous: the mental health crisis is real and ubiquitous.

Which leads psychiatrists to a first-line treatment: antidepressants.

While many individuals benefit immensely from these medications, there is another group of individuals for whom the benefits, while they may exist, do not outweigh the cost of emotional blunting, fatigue, nausea, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, and the like.

Listed above are merely a few of the symptoms that can occur when taking antidepressants. The diversity of symptoms is impressive, encompassing everything from gastrointestinal upset to nightmares and night sweats to an increase in suicidal thinking. Now, not everyone who takes these medications experiences negative side effects, and among those who do, not everyone experiences the same combination of side effects.

Antidepressants are certainly not always a bad option; in fact, many times, they are the best option. However, the headline above speaks pointedly to the individuals for whom antidepressant treatment doesn’t work.

“Doesn’t work”… you probe thoughtfully. What exactly does that mean? How do I determine whether antidepressants work for me or not?

There is no simple answer. No mathematical calculation, nor is there an algorithm; there’s not even a checklist to make that decision for you. It’s a decision that is yours and yours…



Alexandra Piedoux

Exploring science communication at the intersection of environment and mental health, dabbling in mindfulness ☀️ Instagram: @apiedoux 🌱