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Much progress has been made toward normalizing the treatment of psychiatric conditions. Even so, stigmas remain, which can hinder getting the help you need and deserve. If a co-worker shows up at work wearing a boot cast because they sprained an ankle, they don’t have to worry about being judged. But how many employees would talk openly about being prescribed medication for a disorder like depression?

Since roughly half the humans on earth will be diagnosed with a mental health condition in their lives, these are serious issues to ponder. What is mental health treatment like, and how often are people prescribed medication?

 

The Shame is Real

Again, most folks will not be ashamed of a sprained ankle, the flu, or other medical concerns. If they don’t feel well, they get help and don’t hide it from others. The aforementioned mental health stigma, however, can make a person uncomfortable about seeking care. This goes double if they fear the possibility of taking psychiatric medications. Simply put, we live in a culture that sometimes still deems someone to be “crazy” if they need psychotropic meds.

Self-education is a powerful first step to breaking the stigma — at least within yourself. Prescription drugs become less mysterious and scary when you’ve done your homework. Also, when doing research, you will learn Americans are twice as likely to go to therapy for a problem than need medication. In fact, only 15 percent or so will ultimately take psychiatric meds.

Besides self-education, of course, you’ll want to link up with a therapist who is compatible with you. Such a practitioner can serve as your guide when navigating the possibility of being prescribed medication.

 

What Psychiatric Conditions Are Often Treated With Medication?

Before listing four conditions, let’s begin by considering a particular type of prescription drug. Antipsychotics are not just for a singular disorder and can be quite helpful in some cases. However, the introduction of the word “psychosis” is daunting.

Such drugs can shift how your nervous system sends and receives messages. Taking them does not automatically mean you have psychosis — far from it. If the association is troubling, work with your therapist to find ways to manage this scenario.

 

4 Psychiatric Conditions That Are Often Treated With Medication

Depression 

As you might expect, antidepressants are the medication of choice, but there are a few kinds. Most typically, it will come down to either selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The well-known brand name Prozac is an example of an SSRI, but it’s far from the only choice. Either option will take 2 to 8 weeks to work, but when they do, it’s because your brain’s neurotransmitter levels have been balanced.

 

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It’s been found that stimulants (e.g., amphetamines) can reduce ADHD symptoms by raising dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Due to the possibility of side effects and addiction, stimulants require careful guidance and adherence to dosage suggestions.

 

Anxiety

Anxiety disorders come in several versions, but if medication is suggested, it will likely be benzodiazepines. Sure, that’s a mouthful, but meds like Ativan, Valium, and Xanax can start working quickly and be particularly effective when anxiety is acute. As with stimulants, benzodiazepines are addictive and can have side effects.

 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is a mood disorder that can lead to very extreme mood swings. It only makes sense that the medicine of choice would be a brain-calming mood stabilizer like lithium and Lamictal.

 

Remember, you are not alone when it comes to negotiating this process. I can help and would be happy to do so. Let’s connect and talk.