Our guest blog post is written by Dr. Sohail Nibras, double b0ard certified in Child and Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Nibras is a one-of-a-kind psychiatrist in his knowledge and skill base as well as the time that he spends with each of his clients providing truly individualized care!
What is a Psychiatric Medication?
Psychiatric medication refers to medications prescribed by psychiatrists or other mental health professionals to manage and treat mental health conditions. These medications are specifically designed to target symptoms associated with various mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many other psychiatric conditions.
Medications used in psychiatry affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemical messengers regulate mood, emotions, and cognitive functions.
These medications can improve symptoms, stabilize mood, reduce anxiety, manage psychotic symptoms, improve concentration, and promote better sleep.
It's important to note that psychiatric medication is typically prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may also include teen therapy, young adult counseling, family therapy, lifestyle changes, and other interventions. The goal is to provide comprehensive care and support for individuals in managing their mental health conditions.
Regular monitoring and follow-up with a psychiatrist or healthcare professional are typically recommended to ensure the medication's effectiveness and address potential side effects.
Commonly Prescribed Psychiatric Medications
Psychiatric medications include a wide range of drug classes, such as:
Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications),
The prescribed medicines depend on the teen or young adult's diagnosis, symptoms, medical history, and response to treatment. Below is a brief summary of each drug class listed above:
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders, knowing that medications can help alleviate these conditions may be helpful. Two types of medications that have been shown to be effective in treating these conditions are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications increase certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help regulate mood and alleviate symptoms.
These medications are prescribed for conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, helping to manage hallucinations, delusions, and mood disturbances. There are both first-generation (typical) and second-generation (atypical) antipsychotics, such as risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine.
In cases where individuals are experiencing sleep disturbances due to mental health conditions, psychiatrists may opt to prescribe sleep medications. These medications can prove to be particularly beneficial for those suffering from severe insomnia or anxiety. It is worth noting that these drugs are also sometimes called anti-anxiety medications.
These drugs can help stabilize your mood if you experience extreme mood swings. For example, you may be offered them if you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Taking these medications for an extended period can also decrease the likelihood of symptoms returning in the future. These drugs may also be prescribed for hypomania and mania. These treatments may also be available for individuals with severe depression or schizoaffective disorder.
Anxiolytics and Sedatives
These medications are used to manage anxiety symptoms and promote relaxation. Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for short-term relief, while non-benzodiazepine options are for longer-term anxiety management. These are used to treat severe anxiety or severe insomnia.
These medications are commonly used to treat ADHD by increasing focus and reducing hyperactivity.
Certain anticonvulsant medications may be prescribed for conditions like anxiety disorders, neuropathic pain, and mood stabilization.
Remember that each individual's needs vary, and psychiatrists consider many factors like the specific diagnosis, severity of symptoms, medical history, and individual response to medications when prescribing them.
For individuals who are seeking effective ways to manage their mental health, it is highly recommended that they seek guidance and support from a certified psychiatrist. These trained professionals can provide personalized advice and assistance in selecting the most appropriate medications and treatment options to help improve overall well-being and quality of life.
Side Effects of Medications
Medications used in psychiatry can have side effects, and it's essential to be aware of them. However, side effects can vary depending on the specific medication and individual factors.
It's necessary to consult with a psychiatrist or healthcare professional for comprehensive information about the potential side effects associated with a particular medicine.
Here are some commonly observed side effects of psychiatric medications:
Nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea
Sleep disturbances (insomnia or drowsiness)
Weight changes (weight gain or weight loss)
Restlessness (particularly during the initial stages of treatment)
Anxiolytics and Sedatives
Sleepiness or sedation
Impaired coordination or balance
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Dependency or withdrawal symptoms with long-term use
Nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea
Tremors or involuntary movements
Increased thirst or urination
Weight gain or weight loss
Thyroid or liver function abnormalities (in some cases)
Sedation or drowsiness
Weight gain or metabolic changes
Increased risk of diabetes or high cholesterol levels (in some cases)
Decreased appetite or weight loss
Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
Increased heart rate or blood pressure
Mood swings or irritability
Drowsiness or dizziness
Nausea or upset stomach
Skin rashes or hypersensitivity reactions (in rare cases)
Potential for liver or blood-related side effects (in some cases)
Feeling sleepy or lethargic.
Next-day grogginess or impaired alertness
Memory problems or forgetfulness
Sleepwalking or other sleep-related behaviors
It's important to keep in mind that not all people will have these side effects, and some may have different ones that aren't mentioned here.
Additionally, the benefits of medication often outweigh the potential side effects, and healthcare professionals closely monitor and adjust medications to minimize any adverse effects.
Pros and Cons of Medication
There are various pros and cons to starting any medication. The goal in starting any medication is symptom relief while minimizing side effects. Below are a few of the pros and cons of starting medication:
Pros of Starting Medication
Medications can effectively alleviate or reduce the symptoms of mental health conditions. They can help stabilize mood, reduce anxiety or depression, ADHD, manage psychosis, improve concentration, and promote better sleep.
By addressing symptoms, medications can enhance a teenager or young adult's overall functioning in various aspects of life, such as school, work, relationships, and daily activities.
In certain cases, using specific medicine can prove to be highly effective in providing prompt alleviation of distressing symptoms, thereby facilitating more rapid amelioration of an individual's condition.
Prevention of Relapse
Certain medications can help prevent or reduce the likelihood of relapse, particularly in conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, where long-term treatment is essential.
Cons of Medications
Medications can cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. These side effects vary depending on the specific medication and individual factors. Common side effects include nausea, drowsiness, weight changes, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
It's important to note that everyone responds to medications differently. What may work for one person may not be as effective for another. It often takes trial and error to determine the best drug and dosage for an individual.
Dependency or Withdrawal
Some medications can lead to dependence or withdrawal symptoms when used long-term or in high doses. It's important to manage these medications to minimize the risk of dependency carefully.
Monitoring and Adjustments
It's common for medications to need regular monitoring from a healthcare professional. This helps to evaluate their effectiveness, manage any potential side effects, and make necessary dosage adjustments. This may involve regular check-ups and laboratory tests.
Taking medications consistently and as prescribed can be challenging for some individuals, affecting their overall treatment outcomes. Following the prescribed regimen and communicating any concerns or difficulties to the treating psychiatrist is essential.
When considering medication for mental health treatment, it's crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or psychiatrist. They can offer personalized advice, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, and help individuals make informed decisions about their mental health care.
Will I be Given Medicine for my Mental Health?
When it comes to deciding on the most suitable treatment options for mental health, the decision to take medication is influenced by various factors, such as your diagnosis, the symptoms you exhibit, and the extent to which your condition affects your daily life.
There are numerous treatment options available that can effectively address your symptoms. These include alternative therapies and talk therapy, which can be customized to meet your specific needs and requirements.
It's important to note that the decision to prescribe medication is based on a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified psychiatrist. They will consider factors such as the nature and severity of your mental health problems, the potential benefits of medication, and any associated risks.
Depending on your unique circumstances, your healthcare provider may recommend other treatment approaches before considering medication. Alternatively, they may suggest medication as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other therapies.
A collaborative approach between you and your healthcare provider is vital to achieving the best treatment plan. Communicating openly about your symptoms, concerns, and preferences would be best to determine the most suitable course of action.
Remember that everyone's mental health journey is different; what works for one person may not work for you. By exploring various treatment options, you can find the most beneficial approach to your specific needs and circumstances.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Specializing in Teen Therapy & Young Adult Counseling Katy, TX & Houston
If medication is part of your therapy journey, you want a psychiatrist who has the skill and expertise to guide you along the way. Dr. Nibras is dedicated to his clients and spend the time necessary to ensure he understands your symptoms fully. This way, he gains a clear picture of your needs and can meet those needs.
Medication alone is often not the solution. Seeing a teen therapist, young adult counselor, of family therapist can round out your journey in overcoming the symptoms that keep you stuck.
At our Katy, TX location, we have 70+ years of combined experience. If you are ready to meet with one of our young adult therapists, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Talk with one of our caring therapists
Begin the healing process today!
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling
Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling can be very effective. The secret ingredient to success is each person willing to look at themselves and work to do things differently, together. When a marriage counselor or couples therapist has this to work with, the success rate can be very high.
Sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:
Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.
Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.
Feeling like you're growing apart.
Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.
About the Author: Sohail Nibras, MD
Meet Dr. Nibras, a double board-certified child/adolescent and adult psychiatry psychiatrist. He provides personalized and patient-centric psychiatric
care through his platform, Novus.
At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, Dr. Nibras is known for his empathy, professionalism, and solution-driven approach to delivering psychiatric services.
Dr. Nibras specializes in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, and more.
Currently, he serves as an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and an attending psychiatrist at Texas Children's Hospital.