Taking mental health medication
There are many misconceptions about problems, let alone mental health medication. These misconceptions often cause shame and fear for people who have to take medication to improve their quality of life. Here’s what you need to understand about mental health medication.
Why would I take mental health medication?
Mental health illnesses are often caused by chemical imbalances in a person’s brain. While medication works to reduce or relieve symptoms, they can’t cure mental health illnesses. So prescription medication will be based on your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms. Keep in mind that mental health meds often work best alongside therapy or support group treatment programmes.
Types of mental health medication
Antipsychotics – used to treat schizophrenia and sometimes bipolar disorder and to help restore your brain's chemical balance
Mood stabilisers – often used to treat people with bipolar disorder
Depressants – used to help people become or stay calm.
Stimulants – used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Who should prescribe mental health medication?
Mental health problems affect people differently. In fact, two people can have the same diagnosis but their treatments may differ. Which is why it’s not a good idea to go online and try to diagnose your symptoms. Rather go to a General Practitioner (GP), Psychiatrist or a Nurse that works at a surgery, a clinic or at a community mental health team (CMHT) - they are qualified to prescribe mental health medication.
Take ownership of your mental health
Being actively involved in your mental health treatment can help you see a real difference in your recovery and help you take . So when you decide to see a health care practitioner remember to be honest and open about your symptoms, so that you have more than one treatment option open to you and you’ll have an input on what works for you. Make sure that you ask as many questions possible, talk to others with similar experiences and think about what is important to you and your future.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about taking mental health medication. You’re well-being is very important and so you need to take care of your mental health as much as you take care of your physical health.
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