THERE is a lot of abuse of psychiatric medication or mood stabilisers among the young and the old, as this has become the cheapest mode of getting drunk or getting high, but are the users aware of the effects of these medications.
Psychiatric medication includes all drugs which can be prescribed to treat different types of mental health problems, or to reduce the symptoms.
There are four main types of psychiatric medication:
Antidepressants are prescribed for depression, some forms of anxiety, and some eating disorders.
Antipsychotics and these are prescribed for psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, hypomania and mania, bipolar disorder, sometimes severe anxiety.
Mood stabilisers and these are prescribed for bipolar disorder, hypomania and mania, sometimes recurrent severe depression.
Sleeping pills and minor tranquillisers minor tranquilisers, severe insomnia (inability to sleep) and severe anxiety.
Why might I take medication? Generally, psychiatric drugs can’t cure a mental health problem. But in some cases, they can help reduce the symptoms or help you cope with them better.
Whether you are offered medication or not depends on: your diagnosis, your symptoms, how severely the condition affects you.
How long might I take medication for? Again, this depends on: your diagnosis, how severely the condition affects you.
What do I need to know before I take medication?
Before deciding to take any drug, it’s important to make sure you have all the facts you need to make an informed choice.
As a starting point, you should feel confident that you can answer “yes” to all of the following statements.
I understand: what the drug is, why I’ve been offered it, what alternative treatments are available, such as talking treatments or local support groups, what the possible benefits and risks are, including if there is a risk I could become dependent on it, what the possible side effects are, how, when and how much I should take, how long my doctor expects me to take it for, how to store it safely (for example, in the fridge).
For you to get the medications you need a prescription from your doctor or psychiatrist as these medications have side effects that can range from mild to severe.
They are not worth experimenting on due to the severe side effects associated with it as evidenced by some that we see within our community that are abusing these substances.
Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist.
For more information and help call or whatsapp 00263772399734 or email [email protected] and join the Rechabites in building drug-free and healthy communities.