Current Issues in Psychopharmacology

Topics: Action potential, Neuron, Neurotransmitter Pages: 4 (1340 words) Published: August 23, 2009
Current Issues in Psychopharmacology Paper:
Deliberate Self-harm and Anti-depressants
Small pox, measles, influenza, yellow fever and cholera: all have one thing in common; they all are epidemics that have crossed over America in waves. Epidemics happen every year; the current epidemic America is preparing for is the H1N1 swine flu. Small pox, measles, and influenza are just a few of the epidemics seen in America; but, what about the forgotten epidemics; the unexplained illnesses that have plagued America and hundreds of Americans every day for thousands of years. Illnesses’ that affect the brain; such as: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the many other mental illnesses discovered over the last few decades. More importantly than the epidemic of these illnesses, is the way that they are treated and the potential risks associated with treatment. This paper is designed to analyze the risk of an epidemic of deliberate self-harm caused by the utilization of anti-depressants and its impact on the field of biological psychology. The brain; whether of a human or an animal is an intricate piece of work. The human race has learned much about how it works and its functions yet at the same time know nothing about it as a whole. To understand fully the effect that anti-depressant medications have on the brain, one must first have some background knowledge in what is known about the brain and how it functions. It is common knowledge that the brain affects a person’s behavior, but how? Along with postsynaptic potentials; excitatory (when the voltage inside the cell becomes positively charged) and inhibitory (when the voltage inside the cell becomes negatively charged), synaptic transmissions and receptors play a role in producing and regulating one’s behavior (Sahley, 2002). The process that follows describes how behavior is affected by the brain. A series of events takes place within the neuron of the axon hillock, between the axon and cell body....

References: Didham R., McConnell D., Blair H. & Reith D., (2005). Suicide and self-harm following
prescription of SSRIs… Br J Clin Pharmacol
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2005.02480.x. Retrieved on August 12, 2009, from:
Sahley, B., (2002). Understanding chemical imbalances. Retrieved on August 15, 2009, from:
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