Psychiatric medication, which is more officially called psychotropic medication, is used to treat and manage mental illness. While many people take psychotropic medications to treat their medical conditions, there is a lot of misinformation around medicines for mental disorders that hold people back from getting the treatment they need.
According to data, one in five adults in the United States suffers from a mental illness while one in fifteen adults suffering from a mental illness simultaneously experiences a substance use disorder.
To promote an understanding of how mental health medications work, we have broken down some of the most common misconceptions about psychotropic medications.
Different Types of Psychotropic Medication
There are six major categories of psychotropic medication, each treating a different illness or group of illnesses.
- Antidepressants treat depression.
- Anxiolytics are prescribed for a range of anxiety disorders.
- Antipsychotics are used for psychosis and similar afflictions that impact the mind.
- Mood stabilizers help to one’s mood by minimizing emotions and mood swings.
- Sedative-hypnotics are prescribed to individuals who have trouble sleeping.
- Stimulants have a calming effect when used for conditions such as ADHD.
It can take time for a psychotropic medication to begin managing the individual’s symptoms; these medications typically don’t work instantly.
Psychiatric medications generally work by regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain increasing, decreasing, or altering the neurotransmitters in the brain to manage the effects of mental health illnesses.
What Can Psychotropic Medications Do for You?
There are many misconceptions regarding the effects and benefits of psychiatric medications. For instance, it can take time for the psychotropic medication to begin managing the individual’s symptoms; these medications typically don’t work instantly.
Another misconception is how psychotropic medications work: Notably, the user doesn’t instantly feel happy once the medication starts to take effect. Instead, medications for mental disorders are a tool to help people manage the effects of mental illness.
With the aid of the right medication, those suffering from mental and emotional disorders can engage in crucial day-to-day activities.
Psychotropic Medication is Not Forever
There’s a common assumption that if someone starts taking medication for a mental disorder, then they will have to take it for the rest of their lives. In reality, that is rarely the case. As with physical ailments, most individuals will be prescribed psychotropic medication for a period of time during which progress is monitored. When one’s condition improves, their doctor will taper the medication over time.
Before prescribing psychotropic medication, the psychiatrist must consider the patient’s condition, symptoms, and overall medical health. Since some are prone to abuse, the prescribing physician must assess the individual for possible signs of addiction.
Most Psychotropic Medications Are Not Addictive
A common misconception is that psychotropic medications are addictive. When taken as prescribed, these medications for mental health issues will not lead to addiction because most psychotropic medications are not addictive.
Most psychotropic medications are not addictive.
For medications that have shown to be addictive, a medical professional will closely monitor the patient’s use of medication for a patient in order to assess how it makes them feel, whether they are experiencing side effects, and to observe for signs of chemical dependency.
One’s Personality Will Not Change
Many individuals are held back from taking psychiatric medication because they fear it will change their personality. While the use of these medications affects a person’s mental and emotional symptoms, it’s important to note that they will not change someone’s personality. Rather, the use of psychotropic medications allows one’s true personality to take center stage, free from the constraints imposed by a mental illness.
Each Person’s Body is Unique
When it comes to using psychotropic medications, the dosage is a crucial consideration. After all, each person’s body is unique, which is why medication dosage often has to be adjusted to ensure that the individual is receiving the right dosage to achieve the desired results. If the drug doesn’t work as intended, then the prescriber may recommend trying a different medication.
Psychotropic Medication is One Treatment Tool for Mental Health Issues
It is essential to understand that psychotropic medication is just one of a number of tools used to treat mental health issues. While medication can help to balance the neurotransmitters in the brain, therapy is widely viewed as the most effective resource for treating mental health issues. Therapy gives patients the opportunity to learn practical, hands-on strategies when it comes to identifying triggers and managing symptoms.
Psychotropic Medication Takes Time to Work
Though they’re regularly used to great effect to treat mental disorders, medication isn’t an instant solution. Rather, psychotropic medications are one of a number of tools that should be administered and overseen by a medical professional.
If you need more information on how psychotropic medications are used to treat mental health issues, Silicon Beach Treatment Center is here to help. Call today for a better understanding of the different options for treating mental health illnesses.