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Antipsychotic vs. Antidepressant: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 14, 2023
Antipsychotics treat psychotic symptoms like delusions, while antidepressants manage mood disorders like depression.

Key Differences

Antipsychotics are medications primarily used to treat symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions, often associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Antidepressants, in contrast, are designed to alleviate symptoms of depression, including persistent sadness and lack of interest.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023
The action of antipsychotics typically involves the modulation of neurotransmitters like dopamine, crucial in managing psychotic symptoms. Antidepressants, on the other hand, commonly work by altering levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, which affect mood and emotional state.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023
Antipsychotic medications can also be used to treat severe agitation and bipolar mania. Antidepressants are often prescribed for a range of conditions, including various anxiety disorders, in addition to depression.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023
Side effects of antipsychotics may include drowsiness, weight gain, and in some cases, movement disorders. Antidepressants can cause side effects such as insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and sometimes increased anxiety.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023
Antipsychotics can be divided into two main classes: typical and atypical, with varying side effect profiles. Antidepressants are categorized into different classes, like SSRIs and SNRIs, each with distinct mechanisms of action and side effect profiles.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Treat psychotic symptoms like delusions
Treat mood disorders like depression
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Mechanism of Action

Modulate neurotransmitters like dopamine
Alter neurotransmitters like serotonin
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Common Side Effects

Drowsiness, weight gain, movement disorders
Insomnia, sexual dysfunction, anxiety
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Additional Uses

Treat agitation, bipolar mania
Treat anxiety disorders, other mood disorders
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Classification

Typical and atypical antipsychotics
SSRIs, SNRIs, and other classes
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023
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Antipsychotic and Antidepressant Definitions

Antipsychotic

They modulate brain neurotransmitters to reduce psychotic symptoms.
Antipsychotics are essential in treating schizophrenia.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antidepressant

Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression.
The antidepressant improved her mood significantly.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antipsychotic

Antipsychotics are drugs that treat symptoms of psychosis.
The antipsychotic helped manage his hallucinations.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antidepressant

Antidepressants can also treat anxiety disorders.
Her antidepressant was also effective for her anxiety.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antipsychotic

These medications come in typical and atypical classes.
He was prescribed an atypical antipsychotic for fewer side effects.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antidepressant

They work by altering brain chemicals like serotonin.
His antidepressant was an SSRI, increasing serotonin levels.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Antipsychotic

Antipsychotics can be used for severe mental health crises.
In acute bipolar mania, antipsychotics can be effective.
Sara Rehman
Nov 17, 2023

Antidepressant

Different classes of antidepressants have varied effects.
She switched to an SNRI antidepressant for better results.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Antipsychotic

Counteracting or diminishing the symptoms of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antidepressant

Antidepressants can cause side effects like insomnia.
He experienced insomnia after starting the antidepressant.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Antipsychotic

An antipsychotic drug.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antidepressant

A drug used to treat depression.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antipsychotic

(pharmaceutical effect) Preventing or counteracting psychosis.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antidepressant

(pharmaceutical drug) An agent that prevents or counteracts depression.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antipsychotic

(pharmaceutical drug) Any of a group of drugs used to treat psychosis.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antidepressant

(pharmaceutical effect) Preventing or counteracting depression.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antipsychotic

Tranquilizer used to treat psychotic conditions when a calming effect is desired
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antidepressant

Any of a class of drugs used to treat depression; often have undesirable side effects
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

Antipsychotic

Antipsychotics also help in managing bipolar disorder.
Antipsychotics stabilized her mood fluctuations in bipolar disorder.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

FAQs

Do antipsychotics have serious side effects?

They can, including movement disorders and metabolic changes.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What do antidepressants do?

Treat depression and other mood-related disorders.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Can antipsychotics treat depression?

Sometimes, particularly in cases of severe mood disorders.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Can antidepressants be used in children?

With caution and under strict medical supervision.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

What are antipsychotics?

Medications that treat psychotic disorders and symptoms.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Are antidepressants addictive?

Generally not, but discontinuation should be gradual.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Do antidepressants improve sleep?

Some can, but others may cause insomnia.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Are antipsychotics used in anxiety treatment?

Rarely, and usually only in severe cases.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Are antipsychotics effective immediately?

They often take several days to weeks to show full effects.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

How long do antidepressants take to work?

Often several weeks to see full effects.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Can antipsychotics be used for bipolar disorder?

Yes, particularly in managing manic episodes.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Are there different types of antipsychotics?

Yes, typical and atypical, with different side effect profiles.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Do antidepressants interact with other medications?

Yes, they can, so it's important to inform healthcare providers.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Can antidepressants cause weight gain?

Some can, though this varies by the type of medication.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Can antidepressants cause sexual side effects?

Yes, this is a common side effect.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

Do antipsychotics affect cognitive functions?

They can, especially in higher doses.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Are antidepressants safe during pregnancy?

This depends on the specific medication and individual situation.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Can antipsychotics be stopped abruptly?

No, they should be tapered off under medical supervision.
Sara Rehman
Dec 14, 2023

Can antidepressants worsen depression initially?

Some people may experience increased anxiety or mood changes at first.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 14, 2023

How are antipsychotics administered?

Orally or as long-acting injections.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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