it comes to your emotional health, you might feel out of control.
Sometimes, you are. This is because you might have a chemical imbalance
in your brain, which is an inability to produce certain neurotransmitters.
That is why your healthcare provider might prescribe a specific
medication to help regulate your mood. Medication is not your only
option, and should be accompanied by consistent therapy and close
monitoring. Your provider will tell you if you are a candidate
for this medication, but it’s important that you avoid self-medication.
Even though you might hear a lot about these drugs in the media
and in advertisements, you need to realize that they are serious
medications that have a major impact on your health. Usually, your
provider won’t prescribe medication for your mental health
unless it is absolutely necessary.
Antidepressants are prescribed for
patients with mild to serious depression. Depression usually
lasts more than two weeks at a time and seriously affects your
day-to-day life. When you are prescribed an antidepressant medication,
your doctor will also recommend a combination with psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is the same thing as “therapy” and
entails talking to a licensed professional about the aspects
of your life that might contribute to depression. Antidepressants
make it easier for your brain to receive certain neurotransmitters,
or chemicals that stabilize your emotions.
The FDA recently issued a Public Health Advisory that warns about
a possible link between antidepressants, especially in the beginning
stages of medication, and suicidal tendencies. Although the risk
is low, it is still very important that you keep in close contact
with your provider and make your friends and family aware that
you are beginning a medication that might contribute to suicidal
thoughts and behavior. If suicidal thoughts become overwhelming
or continue, medication should be changed or stopped immediately.
Antianxiety Medication is prescribed
to treat patients with consistent anxiety, which is indicated by
such symptoms as irritability, apprehension, jumpiness, irregular
or fast heartbeat, nausea and breathing problems. Anxiety is often
manifested in such disorders as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias.
Central nervous system depressants relieve symptoms of anxiety
within a short period of time. There are relatively few side effects,
but drowsiness, confusion, fatigue and loss of coordination are
sometimes reactions to the medication. For this reason, it is advised
that you don’t drive or operate heavy machinery while on
depressants. These medications can react negatively and have serious
and dangerous effects when mixed with alcohol and illicit drugs.
Antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medications are
for mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
If you are diagnosed with a serious mental condition and have been
prescribed an antipsychotic or mood stabilizing medication, you
should meet with your physician or psychiatrist on a regular basis
to maintain your treatment, make sure that the drugs are effective
and ensure that you are using them correctly.