Medications Articles

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.

When Depression Becomes Depressing

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

When Depression Becomes Depressing “I am larger and better than I thought.” ~ Walt Whitman

In the movie “All Is Lost” with Robert Redford, the vast expanse of the never-ending sea could serve as a metaphor for stretches of life when there seems to be nothing on the horizon but more depression and inevitable despair. The increasingly futility of his efforts to survive also can be compared to treating depression as a losing battle, considering the over 120 million sufferers worldwide and counting.

In his latest book, Out of the Blue, Bill O’Hanlon makes a valuable contribution to turning that tide. In his opening dedication he writes, “Let me reassure your soul that there is a way out.”

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Is Taking Adderall to Boost College Brain Performance Cheating?A new study that will be presented tomorrow finds that 33 percent of students surveyed for a study at an Ivy League college said they did not think taking an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, like Adderall or Ritalin, is a form of cheating. Another 25 percent weren’t sure if it was cheating or not, and 41 percent thought it was.

It’s almost as if these college kids need to crack open a dictionary once in a while. Cheating is “to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.”

If you’re not taking an ADHD drug for ADHD but rather for its brain-boosting effects, guess what? — that’s cheating.

Women Taking Antidepressants: Improve Sexuality with Exercise

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Women Taking Antidepressants: Improve Sexuality with Exercise

One of the most common complaints related to taking antidepressant medications is their impact on one’s sexuality. For the most antidepressants prescribed today, sexual side effects are often significant — and troubling (in a way quite different than depression is).

I mean, it’s one thing to think, “Great, this medication is helping alleviate my depressed mood.” But in the next breath, you have to admit, “My sex drive has gone out the window. I just have no interest in sex any more.” And let’s admit it — sex is a pretty important component of most people’s romantic relationships.

That’s why a recently published study may provide some hope.

How Much Does That Free Prescription Drug Sample Cost?

Friday, April 18th, 2014

fHow Much Does That Free Prescription Drug Sample Cost?This may seem like a trick question because, after all, it’s free. How can something that’s free cost anything?

People and professionals have long wondered whether there was a downside to giving away free samples of prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies keep doctors’ offices well-stocked on such free samples, so they obviously suspected it was a way to introduce patients to their brand and get them to come back for more. As paying customers.

Now a new study puts the matter to rest and explains why that “free” sample actually results in higher costs — for everyone.

5 Essential Remedies for Treating Depression: Coming Back from the Brink

Friday, March 7th, 2014

5 Essential Remedies for Treating Depression: Coming Back from the BrinkGraeme Cowan suffered through a five-year episode of depression that his psychiatrist described as the worst he has ever treated.

Part of his recovery involves helping people build their resilience and mental fitness as the Director of R U OK? In his book, Back From the Brink: True Stories and Practical Help for Overcoming Depression and Bipolar Disorder, he offers advice gleaned from interviews with 4,064 people who live with mood disorders.

He asked the respondents to rate the treatments they had tried and how much each had contributed to their recovery. Here’s what he found.

Should You Consider Medication in the Treatment of ADHD?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Should You Consider Medication in the Treatment of ADHD?There are many treatment options available for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sadly, most people turn to their general family physician or pediatrician to discuss these options — well-meaning medical professionals who can prescribe a quick ADHD medication to help.

Increasingly, some people and doctors seem reluctant to prescribe an ADHD medication, due to misunderstandings about their use (and abuse) by some patients.

That’s why it was a breath of fresh air to come across a blog entry that examined the issue from one doctor’s perspective.

Parents: Helping Your Child with ADHD

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Parents: Helping Your Child with ADHDSome hype in the media has been made about an “over-diagnosis” of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But parents with children who actually have ADHD are left scratching their heads — why are some people demonizing their child’s disorder? Would a journalist go after pediatric cancer with the same gusto?

I don’t have the answer to those kinds of questions, but I do have some tips to share with parents of children with ADHD. Raising a child with ADHD presents unique opportunities and challenges. But it’s the challenges that can sometimes throw parents for a loop.

Living with Schizophrenia

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Living with SchizophreniaI’m sitting in a coffee shop at 7:53 a.m. and I’m minding my own business but I hear barely audible chatter and laughter from the baristas behind the bar and I can only think that there’s something about the way I’m sitting here on my computer writing that’s making them laugh at me.

I wonder if I look OK, if the way my hoodie sits on my shoulders looks funny or if I said something and sounded weird or if the way I’m typing with only the middle fingers on both of my hands warrants some kind of ridicule.

The truth is, I know they’re not laughing at me but every waking hour of every day I’m plagued by the notion that I’m an object of ostracism.

Treating Teen Bipolar Disorder with Medication

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Treating Teen Bipolar Disorder with MedicationIf your child has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you might have already had a discussion with his or her psychiatrist about medication. However, using psychotropic medication, although growing as a choice for treating psychological disorders, continues to carry a stigma. Often, those who take medication for their mental health are judged or looked down upon.

Despite this, research shows that the combination of medication and individual therapy are quite effective for treating most mood disorders. For bipolar disorder, specifically, medication can manage the wide swing of changing moods from depression to mania. This article will address the various forms of medication that might be used in teen bipolar disorder treatment.

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Elaina J. Martin

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Elaina J. MartinHere’s a message we don’t hear nearly enough: Even though living with mental illness is hard — really hard — many people are successfully managing their conditions and savoring satisfying, healthy lives.

Here’s another message we need to hear more: How they do it.  

That’s why we’ve created this new interview series. Every month we’ll talk with people about everything from how they overcome the toughest challenges of their mental illness to how they’ve found treatment to their favorite resources.

In our first interview, Elaina J. Martin, who writes the popular Psych Central blog Being Beautifully Bipolar, shares her story. She reveals how she received her diagnosis along with powerful and inspiring insights into managing bipolar disorder, the importance of honesty, how loved ones can help and much, much more.

Antidepressants: Is That All You’ve Got?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Antidepressants: Is That All You've Got?Antidepressants do have their place in treating depression.

But new evidence indicates a worrying trend: Antidepressants — which impact your brain chemistry — are increasingly a first resort and being prescribed at an ever-increasing rate.

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