Medications Articles

How to Deal with the Side Effects of Your Meds

Monday, July 28th, 2014

{Flickr photo by epSos.de}

When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, the first medication I took was called Abilify. It was a new drug, one that was supposed to protect against metabolic issues like gaining weight.

It would’ve been fine but it had a nasty side effect no one told me about — the constant, restless feeling of needing to move. I couldn’t sit still and I was so uncomfortable that I’d take miles-long walks every day just to ease the feeling. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

Take Charge of Your Health, One Appointment at a Time

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

beverlyhillsmagazine.com“Really, it’s not you. It’s me,” I said to my psychiatrist this morning at an appointment.

I felt as though I were telling a boyfriend that I needed space, that I had been having lunch with another guy and now I was confused about where to go or how to proceed or what I wanted.

Separating Delusions from Reality

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Separating Delusions from RealityIn the midst of my most intense psychotic episode I thought I was a prophet.

I thought it was my job and my job alone to bring peace to the world.

I was receiving hidden messages that only I could see when I listened to the radio or watched television, and I thought there was great evil coming to the world.

Defeating Depression with a Pill

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Defeating Depression with a PillThere was literally a time when patients suffering from depression used to talk about their problems. But times have changed and now talk therapy is becoming a rarer form of treatment in favor of psychotropic drugs.

A pair of studies, which ran from 1998 to 2007, tracked the use of antidepressants versus psychotherapy to treat depression among inpatients. Both were a followup of sorts to similar research done a decade earlier which saw a doubling in the amount of outpatients treated with antidepressants for this population. From 1987 to 1997, the percentage of patients prescribed antidepressant medication rose from 37.3 percent to 74.5 percent.

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Diagnosis of Mental IllnessWhen I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago it was like walking in a fog. I was lost in my delusions, I was confused about what was happening to me and I was trying to grapple with what exactly reality was.

My family was suffering too.

They had no background with mental illness and no frame of reference about what to expect with it.

I had asked for help a few times but they just thought my skewed thinking was a result of smoking marijuana and that once I stopped everything I would be fine. It didn’t click for them until after my first major episode, when they took me to the hospital and I was finally diagnosed.

3 Myths about Managing Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

3 Myths about Managing Bipolar DisorderA common myth about bipolar disorder is that you need to experience a depressive episode in order to be diagnosed with the illness, according to Kelli Hyland, M.D., a psychiatrist in outpatient private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.

However, a person only needs to experience a hypomanic or manic episode, she said.

Many other myths abound – misconceptions that can jeopardize how you manage and live with the disorder. Below are three such myths.

The Five Stages of Grief After a Diagnosis of Mental Illness

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Five Stages of Grief After A Diagnosis of Mental IllnessIn the eight years that I’ve lived with schizophrenia, I’ve seen good days and horrible days, I’ve had successes and I’ve had failures. But nothing can compare to the despair I felt in the first few months and years of living with the illness.

They say there are five stages of grief when you lose a loved one. I can tell you from personal experience that those five stages also exist and are just as intense when you’re told you’re crazy.

5 Mistakes People Make When Managing Their Depression

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

5 Mistakes People Make When Managing Their DepressionWhen you’re treating any illness, making mistakes is inevitable. After all, making mistakes is how you learn, grow and get better.

Depression is a difficult illness, which colors how you see and feel about yourself. So, if you find yourself making the “mistakes” below, try not to judge yourself. Rather, view these mistakes as stepping stones, as signposts that lead you in a more helpful direction.

The Process of Love Addiction Withdrawal

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

love-scienceIt is well established that when a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they can experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Less is documented about the reality of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms from love and sex addiction, yet they are no less real.

I see clients who are in withdrawal from love addiction and are struggling with symptoms indicative of a very real physical and emotional experience.

Why Some Delusions Can Be So Persistent

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Why Some Delusions Can Be So Persistent A delusion is defined as a firmly held belief or impression which is contradicted by reality or rational argument.

As a person with schizophrenia, I’m more than familiar with delusional thinking. A major part of my experience living with the illness has taught me to be wary of any thought I have which doesn’t seem entirely real.

The Awkward Place between Conventional & Alternative Medicine

Monday, May 26th, 2014

natural-homeopathy-therapyI’m hanging out on some rough terrain between conventional and alternative medicine, not sure if dabbling in both simultaneously is allowed. I can feel the tension between them as real as I did between my parents during their hostile divorce when I was 11.

Strategies for Reducing Signs of Mania in Bipolar Disorder

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Strategies for Reducing Signs of Mania in Bipolar DisorderEffectively managing bipolar disorder includes knowing the early signs of an episode. It also means having a plan to address these signs before they escalate into hypomania, mania or depression.

According to authors Janelle M. Caponigro, MA, Eric H. Lee, MA, Sheri L. Johnson, Ph.D, and Ann M. Kring, Ph.D, in their book Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, common warning signs of mania or hypomania include: feeling irritable, sleeping less, having more energy, driving faster, talking faster, starting new projects, feeling more self-confident, dressing differently, having increased sexual feelings and feeling impatient.

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