image by: Pharmacology Hub
To take or not to take psychiatric medicine? That is the question.
Far too many people answer yes and take meds they don’t really need for problems that would get better just with the passage of time and/or brief counseling. More than 20 percent of Americans are on at least one psychotropic drug (sometimes several), too often not for real mental disorders, but for transient emotional distress or for the demoralization that comes from difficult life circumstances.
When prescribed loosely, meds provide little benefit, risk harmful side effects, distract attention from solving the real life problems, and reduce people’s trust in their own resilience and the help they can receive…
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From expanding minds to healing brains.
Then they took over my life.
More than a third of American adults use medications that list depression as a risk, and a quarter use drugs that increase the risk of suicide.
Activists, entrepreneurs, and doctors in the US and Canada are working to decriminalize psilocybin psychotherapy and calling for a psychedelic revolution.
Australia needs a paradigm shift in the way we treat mental illness. Scientific research is increasingly pointing to psychedelic drugs like psilocybin and MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known as Ecstasy) as viable options.
Clozapine could save the lives of suicidal schizophrenic people who aren't responding to other treatments. So why are so few doctors using it?
America may be the land of Mickey Mouse and Goofy, but the US isn’t exactly the happiest place on Earth. Antidepressants are the most commonly popped pills in the country, accounting for 227 million prescriptions filled last year alone. Of course, Prozac and its descendants aren’t the only popular psychiatric meds:
There are medications that help people feel better a lot faster than today’s antidepressant pills. And feeling better sooner means that people can take helpful actions sooner, developing helpful habits for long-lasting change and lifting themselves out depression. And there are other medications that might not work any faster, but have antidepressant effects without some of the most troubling side effects associated with medications like Zoloft (sertraline) or Paxil (paroxetine).
Almost three decades later, America is still a Xanax nation. It remains the most popular psychiatric drug, topping more recently introduced medicines like the sleeping pill Ambien (No. 2) and the antidepressant Lexapro (No. 3).
There’s been a lot of attention in the media about the number of children taking antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications. The assumption behind most of these stories is that these drugs are being overprescribed, and given to children with minor behavioral issues.
A caveat is in order here. Whitaker does NOT claim that medications have no value and that no one should take them. In his talk at my school, as in his book, Whitaker acknowledged that many people benefit from psychopharmacology, especially over the short term. But he does believe that the drugs should be administered far more sparingly.
Psychiatrists who take time with their patients are not the norm. It's not because others don't care. Rather the system rewards efficiency, not empathy.
A suite of three studies published Wednesday gives additional insight into the safety of antidepressant use during pregnancy: While there may be some slightly higher risks, the medications are a safe and important treatment for women with moderate to severe depression.
In over a decade of legal proceedings that followed, it became apparent that most physicians were unaware of serotonin toxicity and of the potentially fatal interaction of meperidine and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
Nearly 46 percent of people with at least three prescriptions had no diagnosis of a mood, chronic pain or sleep problem, the study found.
Can we stop stigmatizing mental illness now?
Are we using good scientific evidence to make decisions about keeping these young people on antidepressants? Or are we inadvertently teaching future generations to view themselves as too fragile to cope with the adversity that life invariably brings?
The modern drug business was built on brain medicines: Valium was the first blockbuster, selling 2 billion tablets in 1978, and Prozac defined the industry in the 1990s.
Many young people today have now spent most of their lives on antidepressants. Have the drugs made them 'emotionally illiterate'?
We discuss how psychoactive effects produced by different drugs prescribed in psychiatric practice might modify various disturbing and distressing symptoms, and we also consider the costs of these psychoactive effects on the mental well-being of the user.
The conventional wisdom is that antidepressant medications are effective and safe. However, the scientific literature shows that the conventional wisdom is flawed. While all prescription medications have side effects, antidepressant medications appear to do more harm than good as treatments for depression.
When it comes to drugs, nothing is promised to you.
There are risks on both sides. Staying on meds can cause serious complications, particularly if the person gains substantial weight on them. But going off meds can be a path back to illness and all of its dire consequences.
BehaveNet is the Web’s most comprehensive freely accessible encyclopedic taxonomy of psychiatric drugs (including drugs of abuse), diagnoses (including diagnostic criteria), terminology and notable people with references to associated media and other resources.
Listed here are two tables of commonly prescribed psychotropic mediations. The first table is a listing of medications based on their psychiatric use. This table includes brand names and their generic form in parentheses. The second table provides a cross-reference by generic name.
Here you'll find detailed information on the usage, dosage, and side-effects of various psychiatric medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and antianxiety medications.
Drug Reference for FDA Approved Psychiatric Drugs
Within this section, you will find general information about some of the most commonly-prescribed medications for mental disorders. This information includes proper use of the medication, common side-effects, and the interactions the medication may have with other medications or over-the-counter drugs.
Comprehensive List of Drugs by Trade Name, Generic Name,& Canadian Name
Science News: Psychiatric Drugs