In psychiatry, managing medication is a major aspect of the treatment of mental health disorders. It is an effective way to promote the safe use of medications so each client can achieve optimum results in managing their symptoms.
Medications do not cure a disorder. When combined with psychotherapy, however, they help people reach their goals and get back to their highest level of functioning by treating the symptoms of mental illness.
There are some people who have an illness but have concerns about taking medication, and would prefer an alternative treatment. For others, finding the right medication to treat their disorders is like a breath of fresh air.
With so many different medications having a wide range of side effects, anyone taking something to manage mental illness should do so under supervision of a professional psychiatrist. They have the training to provide sufficient information to help clients choose medication based on their specific disorder, lifestyle needs, and overall health.
Once a decision is made, psychiatrists monitor dosage and how well that person is responding to the medication.
Most Common Medications to Treat Mental Illness:
Antidepressants are prescribed to treat numerous forms of mental illness, including depression, ADHD, chronic pain, and insomnia. The most popular types of antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). A psychiatrist might also choose to prescribe bupropion, which works differently and is helpful in cases where people suffer from seasonal depression or would like to quit smoking.
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent disorders in the realm of psychotherapy. If taken correctly, anti-anxiety medication helps to reduce panic attacks or feelings of extreme fear and worry. Most are known as benzodiazepines, which treat generalized anxiety disorder. In cases of panic disorder or social anxiety disorder, these may be used in conjunction with an antidepressant.
To treat ADHD, clients are often prescribed stimulants to increase their ability to remain alert and focused, and have more energy to function normally. Most stimulants are controlled substances, which means the Drug Enforcement Agency regulates prescriptions closely, making it necessary for a psychiatrist to monitor doses and any changes in behavior.
Mood stabilizers are primarily used to treat manic depression, bipolar disorder, and mood swings associated with other mental disorders. They work well at decreasing abnormal activity within the brain to even out any chemical imbalances. When used in conjunction with an antidepressant, mood stabilizers are a viable option for people living with severe depression, schizophrenia, and impulse control disorder, and to treat certain mental illnesses in children.
Antipsychotics are commonly prescribed to people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or very severe depression. If used correctly, they will relieve symptoms and allow people to manage their mental illness to improve quality of life.