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Psychiatrist says causes of depression go beyond lack of serotonin

A study by the University of London denies that the cause of depression is the result of a drop in serotonin levels, even though, the low of this hormone is linked to symptoms of the disease. This is what psychiatrist Cyro Masci explains, in an interview with RDtv. The specialist reinforces that the decline in serotonin is the result of a number of factors, such as bad childhood experiences, life in relationships and trauma, reasons that can also contribute to depression.

Masci points out that, both in depression and in any aspect of mental health, there is not only one causative agent, but several factors. “These various factors must be addressed and, for that, we depend on a political decision, in addition to investment in the area of ​​mental health. If there is no such application, both in research and in the remuneration and training of professionals, patients are limited to prescribing antidepressants in any case,” he says.

According to information from the Federal Council of Pharmacy (CFF), in the first five months of 2021, 42.9 million units of antidepressants were sold in Brazil. Masci says that, to treat depression, it is necessary to treat the multiple factors that act in the disease and, this is not treatable only with an antidepressant. “With 15 minutes of consultation given to the psychiatrist, it is not possible to diagnose what these factors are and, therefore, the simplest way is to prescribe this type of medication. He can refer the patient to psychotherapy and, in this way, it will be possible to treat each of the aspects”, he explains.

The specialist also says that in cases of depression caused by trauma, abuse, whether sexual or emotional, the use of antidepressants is not recommended, since the ingestion of serotonin will not solve the problem. “In situations like this, it is necessary to treat the trauma first, because it is the initial cause of sadness”, he informs.

Masci explains that, for the treatment of mental illnesses, it is necessary to have acceptance and respect for the patient’s situation, so psychological follow-up is extremely important. “It’s very difficult to find out what the ‘kick’ was in just one session. The psychiatrist must respect each person’s time, because remembering traumatic events is something very complicated, because the person begins to relive that and it can even become a trigger to talk about it when they are not expecting it”, he explains.

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