Purpose of Medications in Psychiatry

Psychiatry Myrtle Beach, SC

In psychiatry, medications play a central role in treatment. They work to effect changes in the brain that improve symptoms for a range of mental health issues. Here is a closer look at how psychiatrists use various medications to improve the lives of those struggling with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Who prescribes medication?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry, diagnosing, treating, and managing mental health disorders. Therefore, they are the main prescribers of medications that treat mental, emotional, and behavioral conditions. These doctors evaluate the patient, determine the nature of their condition, and match them with the appropriate treatment. A psychiatrist is also responsible for monitoring the patient's medication progress, ensuring it is safe, has the intended effects, and is modified when necessary.

Reasons for prescribing medication

A psychiatrist prescribes medication for many reasons as part of a patient's treatment. In psychiatry, medication is typically intended to address some chemical imbalance in the brain that is acquired or the result of the patient's brain structure or genetics. Sometimes, medication helps to get patients through a psychiatric emergency or control their symptoms enough so they can function in their day-to-day lives. In addition, the doctor may prescribe medications to help a patient going through withdrawal as a result of substance use disorder.

Types of medication

Here are several of the medications that can help with mental health disorders and relevant symptoms.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are a large class of medications primarily used to treat the various forms of depression. These drugs generally work to increase levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, in the brain, resulting in the relief of depression symptoms such as extreme sadness, guilt, fatigue, and insomnia. Drugs in this class may also help treat anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Antianxiety drugs

The most common form of anxiety medications, benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax, are typically used to reduce the intensity and frequency of debilitating panic attacks. The can also help in the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, some people can easily become dependent on these drugs. Therefore, psychiatrists prescribe them with caution.

ADHD medications

Traditionally, medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been stimulant medications such as methylphenidate. These drugs appear to stimulate the part of the brain responsible for attention and impulse control, helping those with ADHD function better in their daily lives. Certain nonstimulant medications, such as atomoxetine, are also used to help with symptoms of this disorder.

Antipsychotics

These medications are crucial for the treatment of psychosis that comes with disorders like schizophrenia. These drugs help reduce symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and help keep them from returning. Thanks to these medications, those living with psychotic disorders can lead happier, more productive lives.

Mood stabilizers

Mood stabilizers are drugs typically prescribed for bipolar disorders. Those living with one of these disorders often have mood swings characterized by dramatic highs (mania) followed by extreme lows (depression). The mood swings can be so severe patients can have trouble maintaining personal and professional relationships and holding down employment. Mood stabilizers help even out these mood swings so people can function better in their daily lives.

Medications for substance use

When someone uses drugs or alcohol to the point where they are dependent on them and cannot stop despite repeated negative consequences, this is called substance use disorder (SUD). SUD can destroy a person's health, finances, and relationships. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications that help patients withdraw safely from addictive substances. Other drugs can help patients stay sober by curbing cravings.

How treatment works

Psychiatry often involves treating patients with various medications. These medications can be administered alone, in combination with other drugs, or in combination with other treatments such as psychotherapy. Successful treatment usually involves medication combined with some form of therapy.

The psychiatrist evaluates each patient's mental and psychological health when deciding what is best for them. Some patients only need medication for a short time, while others will need it indefinitely. It can take a few weeks for medication to start working, and the psychiatrist will adjust the dose and type of medication as needed.

For more on medication for mental health

Medication is one of the main treatments in psychiatry. These medications help patients overcome their troubling mental health symptoms so they can get back to feeling like themselves. If you or a loved one is struggling, psychiatry can help. Call us today to learn more.

Request an appointment here: https://mb.futurepsychsolutions.com or call Future Psych Ketamine Clinics at (843) 788-9718 for an appointment in our Myrtle Beach office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Psychiatry in Myrtle Beach, SC.

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