Addiction

7 Tips to Manage Your Weight When Taking Psychiatric Medication

Weight gain is one of the main reasons that people diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders stop taking their medication. Some people gain as much as seven percent of their body weight -- or more -- from psychiatric meds. In a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health that was published in July 2006 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers reported that nearly one in four cases of obesity is associated with a mood or anxiety disorder.

But following a strict treatment plan that involves meds doesn’t have to mean shopping for a larger pants size. There are effective ways to manage your weight on psychiatric meds.
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Antidepressant

There Is a Place for Antidepressants

When I was six months pregnant, I attended a birthing preparation class with my husband and about 12 other expectant parents. During the fifth session, the instructor asked the mothers whether or not they were going to use medication to get through the pain of childbirth labor.

“Everyone who wants to try for a natural birth, stand over here,” she said. “And everyone who plans on having an epidural or taking other pain medication, stand over here.”

I looked at the two groups, which held about the same number of people. My head went from one to the other, much like a puppet with a tic. Like most decisions in my life (including which dressing I want on my salad), I had analyzed the hell out of this one -- done all the research on both sides -- and still couldn’t commit.
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Addiction

Bipolar Disorder and Drug Abuse

It’s very common to find people with bipolar using drugs of one kind or another. If you were to experience the constant interference, disruption and pain that bipolar brings about, you would understand why one would resort to using drugs. Bipolar disorder makes it hard to get up in the morning, hard to hold a conversation and almost impossible for many to hold down a job. With problems like these it’s no wonder that medication is abandoned in favor of street drugs.

You see, medication doesn’t always quite hit the spot. Medical teams and patients spend years trying to find the right balance of medication. In the meantime, the patient suffers emotionally and psychologically. Often there is little support during this period as the patient is half better and looks okay -- so they must be okay, right? Wrong. That’s not the case at all. We can look fine and feel horrendous.
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Antipsychotic

Psychology Around the Net: July 11, 2015


Catch up on the latest information about teens and antipsychotic medications, the possible therapeutic benefits of marijuana, how well certain "happiness" apps work, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Most Antipsychotic Drugs Prescribed to Teens Without Mental Health Diagnosis, Study Says: According to this study, prescribing antipsychotic medications to teens without a mental health diagnosis is on the rise.

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Antipsychotic

Coming to Terms with Your Delusions

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought some pretty outrageous things in the course of my illness. I’d also be lying if I said I don’t think about outrageous things still. Even with a good amount of stability, delusions can still persist.

Sometimes it’s about what people think of you, maybe just an offhand notion. Other times it can be so bad that you think you’re a king or a prophet or Jesus Christ himself. I’ve seen every part of the spectrum.

Nine years on, I still deal with whether people are making fun of me. This is a delusion which, no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t stop.
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Antipsychotic

Dealing with the Side Effects

Having lived with schizophrenia for almost nine years I’m no stranger to the myriad things that can happen when you’re on a course of antipsychotic medication.

Many times these side effects can be disruptive to everyday life. Sometimes they come on slow and have a lasting impact, such as gaining a significant amount of weight. Sometimes they can be dull, such as drowsiness or a dissociative feeling.

The important thing to remember in all these cases is that side effects are negligible compared to the benefit of the drug.
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Antipsychotic

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

In 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.
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Antidepressant

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

The 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.
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Antidepressant

How to Deal with the Side Effects of Your Meds


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.

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Anger

The Five Stages of Grief After a Diagnosis of Mental Illness

In 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.
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Antipsychotic

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.

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