In this country and all around the world, psychiatric medications are the most commonly prescribed of any medication. Did you know that one in 10 Americans takes an anti-depressant? Many of those who take these medications have questions but either don’t know who to ask or how to ask them. Here are some of the more popular questions.
1. What are the chances that the medication will or will not work?
– This is tough to answer because everyone’s body chemistry is different. For the FDA to approve it, it must work in over 30% of patients. The dosage may be different for everyone as well. It is trial and error.
2. How soon does it begin to work?
– Some meds work within hours while others can take six weeks or more to fully work.
3. How do I know if it’s working?
– Set goals before you start the medication. Ask your doctor what symptoms the medication helps with and focus on those symptoms that you may have.
4. Will the medicine change my personality?
– No. The medication may affect how you feel and your mood, but will not affect your personality.
5. Will the meds change my brain?
– The main goal of this type of medication is to change part of the brain that isn’t working so in a sense, yes. It will not change parts of the brain that are normally functioning and will not alter who you are.
6. Does it mean I am crazy if I take the medication?
– No. Mental illness is a disease that affects brain chemistry. It doesn’t mean that you are crazy if you need to take them.
7. Am I going to be on the meds for the rest of my life?
– Maybe not, however you should never stop taking them without speaking with your doctor first. Over time your dosage can be reduced and you can go through trial periods without taking it completely but always monitored by a physician.
8. Will I become addicted?
– None of the mood stabilizing, antidepressants, or antipsychotic medications are addictive, however tranquilizers and sleep aids could be habit forming.
9. Will the meds make me fat?
– An unfortunate side effect of these medications is weight gain, so to minimize how much weight, speak with your doctor to try and find the right one for you and maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
10. Can I drink while taking these meds?
– Excessive drinking is not advised with these medications however one or two alcoholic drinks is fine. Start with one and see how you feel and it may feel like more since you are on the meds.
11. Will the medication affect my s-e-x life?
– Yes, these medications can decrease your libid0 or make it hard to achieve 0rgasm. You may be able to help this with a different dose or different brand of medication.
12. What do I do if my child refuses to take it?
– Trust is important, so don’t try to hide it in food or sugar coat it. Be very upfront and let your child know that they need this so they will feel better.