Depression is one of the most commonly reported mental disorders, and it affects millions of Americans. A wide variety of medications are used to treat depression, many of which have become household names-Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil among them. Because these medications have the ability to alter how people think and feel, however, physicians must weigh a number of factors when prescribing them, especially to teens. This book, a part of Greenwood's Story of a Drug series, offers a robust exploration of antidepressant medications that covers the historical, ethical, medical, legal, and scientific dimensions of these drugs. After an introductory case study of a person with depression and this individual's problems and successes with antidepressants, the book provides an overview of depression and its various symptoms as well as the causes, prevalence, and diagnosis of depression. Readers will gain an understanding of the neurotransmission and specific mechanisms behind the activity of antidepressant medications; the effects and applications of these drugs, plus their associated risks of misuse and abuse; and related policy and societal issues.