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7 Myths You May Believe About Antipsychotics



When mental illnesses are presented in television programs and films, this is not always friendly. While Crazy Ex Girlfriend got much right, for example 13 reasons why not so much. And when it comes to drugs such as antipsychotics or antidepressants, often missing realistic representations. For example, they may show a figure whose antipsychotics make them behave like a completely different person (not the case), or they show someone who is "cured" with antidepressants immediately after a day (not even the case) ,

This media stereotype-combined with the lack of online quality information-contributes to misinformation and myths about psychiatric disorders and the drugs used-especially anti-psychotic drugs David Brendel MD, a psychiatrist based in Boston, tells the SELF. "Many of these mental illnesses were treated as problems with people's personality, not as illnesses, so many of these drugs have a lot of resistance and judgment," he says.

One problem is the prevalence of outdated information about the types of antipsychotics most commonly used today.

There are actually two types of antipsychotics: typical and atypical, which cause different side effects. Older antipsychotics, referred to as "typical" antipsychotics or "neuroleptics," could have serious side effects, such as uncontrollable tics and tremors.

A large number of people have been shut off or frightened by these side effects, Dr. Brendel. Today, psychiatrists rarely prescribe these older drugs. Instead, they use a newer class of drugs called "atypical" antipsychotics. The side effects of this new drug group are far less severe, and the medication is usually more effective.

Let's break down some of the myths surrounding antipsychotics, because these medications are not as scary as many people seem to think.

Myth # 1: Antipsychotic drugs are addictive.

Antipsychotic drugs may have a variety of side effects, but addiction is none of them Sue Varma MD, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center (19459004), tells SELF. "People take these medicines because they need them," she says, not because of any euphoric effects or addictions.

Unlike addictive drugs such as opioid painkillers a person who responds to antipsychotics You must constantly increase their dosage to feel the same relief (meaning they build a tolerance).

That is, they can cause some withdrawal symptoms – such as nausea, insomnia or a rebound episode of psychosis – if you suddenly move away from them. As with antidepressants you should make the decision to stop taking it under the supervision of a psychologist.

Myth # 2: Anyone taking antipsychotics has schizophrenia or psychosis.

Antipsychotics were developed to treat psychosis a condition characterized by a loss of reality that is often associated with mental illness. But they are now being prescribed for many other reasons too.

Increasingly physicians may prescribe antipsychotics such as aripiprazole (Abilify) and olanzapine (Zyprexa) along with antidepressants, especially if a person's depression is present is either severe or does not respond to typical medications.

Some antipsychotics are also used to treat dementia delirium, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Eating Disorders OCD and [19459005generalizedanxietydisorder according to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Myth # 3: You'll feel better immediately.

It is nice to assume that popping a pill instantly makes you fall victim to a mental illness that makes me feel better, it just does not work that way. In reality, most people will begin to feel the effects of their medication within seven to ten days, Dr. Varma.

But some symptoms may take longer than others. "Certain symptoms, such as agitation and hallucinations, usually disappear within a few days of starting antipsychotic medication, and symptoms like delusions usually disappear within a few weeks, but the full effect of the medication may not be visible for up to six weeks NIMH.

As long as people do not have major side effects, Dr. Brendel urges them to give the drugs some time to get started.

Myth # 4: The same prescriptions work for all [19659026] Maybe your friend has started to take an antipsychotic that has changed his life Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the same medicines will work for you with similar symptoms In truth, "it can be hard to predict ]"says Dr. Brendel.

The researchers are trying to understand how genetics could help, but these Forsc hunger is still temporary, he says. However, some studies show that genetics can be helpful in trying to predict how a drug can affect a particular patient. In practice, this means that you ask about your family history of mental illness and psychiatric drug use. "If there was a close biological family member who had a good response to a particular drug, it might be more likely to work," Dr. Brendel. "And if, on the other hand, a close family member had a serious side effect on one of the medications, it might be wise to avoid it."

Myth # 5: You can not take any antipsychotic medication if you are pregnant.

There are many things that doctors recommend to pregnant women to stop smoking, drinking and eating . Certain types of sushi for example – but the use of antipsychotics is not necessarily limits. In fact, taking the medication is sometimes better than taking and not . Ideally, this should be a conversation that you have with your doctor and psychiatric caregiver before conception or early in pregnancy.

"If the medications help to prevent very severe psychotic symptoms, staying with them can bring many benefits. Because it is not psychologically symptomatic for the mother or the developing child to have mental symptoms," Dr. Brendel.

In the most extreme cases, untreated mental illness can be life-threatening for both parents and the baby, for example, a pregnant woman who drops her medication may have an increased risk of suicide, miss a vital prenatal care, and be at increased risk for premature delivery There are not much research on how antipsychotic drugs affect pregnancy, Dr. Brendel says Guidelines for Patients and Their Physicians d to help determine the best scenario for you. This includes a list of drugs that are categorized by the FDA according to their potential risk during pregnancy. In any case, both psychiatrists and ob / gyns will probably want to monitor pregnancies more accurately than usual to make sure the medications are still functioning properly and causing no problems, such as raising blood sugar levels (yep, ] that may happen ).

Myth # 6: Only "weak" people need antipsychotics.

Because our culture considers mental illness to be a personality defect – people with severe depression may choose to do that. For example, be happier – the idea of ​​having to take an antipsychotic may feel like you've failed. But that is absolutely wrong.

"Receiving the necessary treatment to acknowledge and accept [your mental illness] is indeed a sign of great strength," says Dr. Varma. Sure, people who need antipsychotics may wish they did not have a disease that needed medication, but using these medications is no different from having a diabetic who needs insulin, she says.

Myth # 7: The side effects are worse than the disease.

Common side effects of newer antipsychotics include dry mouth, salivation, constipation, weight gain, sedation, and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

In some cases, side effects may be more severe than the disease itself, but it should not be. If that happens to you, it almost certainly means you have to try a new drug. "Your medication should do more good than harm, that's the whole point," says Dr. Varma.

Sometimes people take a second drug to reduce the side effects of their antipsychotics, Dr. Varma. For example, as these medications often cause high cholesterol, someone taking antipsychotics may also take a statin (a medicine to lower cholesterol). But sometimes the side effects are too risky or too unbearable.

"If someone has mild to moderate depression and is on medication that stops them from getting out of bed in the morning or has diabetes, it can be harder than the underlying condition." Brendel. These side effects should be discussed with their doctors as they give the psychiatrist red flags to try a new drug. "Usually you can find a drug that helps and does not cause side effects," says Dr. Brendel. Stigma on mental illness – and psychiatric drugs – keeps people from getting the help they need.

Because of myths like this, many people who might benefit from antipsychotic drugs are more reluctant to try this type of treatment. With the help of a psychiatrist, however, antipsychotics can help patients cope with their symptoms and live a comfortable life.

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