Medications Articles

Depressed? You Should Be in Therapy & Taking an Antidepressant

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Depressed? You Should Be in Therapy & Taking an AntidepressantIf you’re like most people with depression, you probably should be engaging in two simultaneous treatments — some type of psychotherapy combined with an antidepressant medication. That is, if you have moderate to severe depression and you’ve had it for less than 2 years.

So says yet another study confirming what we’ve now known for decades… The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that you can expect full recovery from such a depressive episode when you employ the full double-barrel of depression treatment.

Yet most people don’t — they opt for one or the other, but not both at the same time. In making this choice, most people are short-changing themselves… And their chances at recovery from depression in a shorter period of time.

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in PsychosisIn the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things.

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Heather Foster

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Heather Foster, pic for interview

“Thriving with Mental Illness” is a regular interview series featuring individuals who have a mental illness and are living well. Unfortunately, we don’t hear these stories nearly enough.

We don’t hear nearly enough about people with mental illness who are living healthy, meaningful lives. And we don’t hear nearly enough about how they manage their illness.

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

healthtap.comThe more medications and supplements I try in an effort to minimize my symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more I realize that every edible item you place in your mouth has a risk associated with it. Even the natural ones that are supposedly made from cats’ claws, wild yams, or some organic plant. Moreover, you need to read about its potential side effects and inform yourself before you place the thing on your tongue, because chances are your doctor won’t be well-versed in all the strange reactions it could cause.

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.

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