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The Biggest Myths About Psychiatric Treatment Medications (Busted!)

Psychiatric or psychotropic medication has an important role to play in the management and treatment of a mental illness. Though it’s a common treatment nowadays, several myths are attached to its use and effectiveness. These myths can easily enhance the chances of failing to undergo a treatment and can also lead them to terminate their medication. Psychiatric medication operates by blocking, changing, or enhancing levels of the neurotransmitters present within the brain. Psychiatric medications comprise antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, sedative-hypnotics (or sleeping pills), and stimulants (used in treating neurological disorders such as narcolepsy). If your doctor has prescribed you any of those medicines, it’s important for you to know the biggest psychiatric treatment myths. Here are the biggest myths busted!

Myth 1: You Might Get Addicted To Psychotropic Medications

Most psychotropic medications, except hypnotics, stimulants, and anxiolytics, are not at all addictive. Addictive behavior is normally characterized by obsessions, intense urges, and loss of control. Contrary to popular notion, dependencies are not created through psychotropic medications. It is natural for people to undergo withdrawal symptoms on a temporary basis when they cease to take a particular medication; these include headaches, sweating, lethargy, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and restlessness. These symptoms occur especially within the initial period after a reduction in the medication dosage. But, this response is temporary and doesn’t imply an addiction.

Myth 2: If A Friend Has Benefited From A Drug, You Will, Too

Everyone has a unique body of their own; it all depends on how brains work. As a result, medication will have different effects on different individuals. Patience is the key if you really want to seek out an appropriate medication for yourself. If you have a friend who is going through the same situation or treatment, they might react differently or require a different dose. Abiding by other people’s medications is not worthwhile nor will it be fruitful for you.

Myth 3: You Start Feeling Better In An Instant

This is far from the actual truth. Just because tranquilizers and sleeping pills offer you a quick relief, it doesn’t necessarily mean that psychotropic medication will start affecting your system instantly. The truth is, a medication can take around five to six weeks or even more than that in order to palliate symptoms. Seeking out an appropriate medication can be cumbersome at times, and you might end up attempting more than three times to lay your hands on the right kind.

Myth 4: If A Medicine Didn’t Work For You, Its Variants Would Not Work As Well

Numerous psychotropic medications are available, and in spite of having many common features, they are surely not the same. A medicine comes with innumerable variations, including medicine combinations and different levels of dosage. This is definitely an important and integral aspect of the treatment process.

Myth 5: Symptoms Can Be Effectively Managed By Supplements

Most people are of the opinion that vitamin supplements are all-natural and thus, safe for consumption. The fact is, supplements are neither regulated properly nor are they proven to be effective and safe without any side effects. Some supplements comprise ingredients that are potent enough to bring about severe biochemical alterations. Some even have certain chemicals that are identical in character to chemicals present in prescribed medications.

Myth 6: Weak People Need Medication

Psychotropics help in palliating symptoms of medical disorders. People often identify such disorders as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, a person needs ample courage and guts to admit they are going through a disorder and availing a medication just to cure that. Over 317 million prescriptions are written each year. Among them, over 36 million patients seek medication for a deteriorating mental health. Taking a medication is just a usual part of treatment and health care, not a weakness.

If you are taking psychiatric medications for the first time, it’s absolutely necessary for you to stick on to the medication for the prescribed time even if you feel better or re-invigorated. If you stay on it, you prevent a relapse. But, in case you really want to take yourself off from it, consult your physician before doing so. It’s always advisable to take medication under the supervision of a doctor. It’s imperative for you to be aware of the facts and how a medication would help you with your mental illness.

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