The Building Blocks of Mental Health Part 2: Medication


As we discussed in our last post, mental health is affected by three equally important parts: diet and exercise, medication, and counselling. In our first blog, we discussed the importance of taking care of your brain physically with a healthy diet and exercise. Now we will explain the importance of medication for mental illness as well as the importance of properly managing your medications.

The Benefits of Medication for Mental Illness

Medication can be a very effective treatment for mental illness. Since mental illness is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, medications can help regulate things like serotonin production and other brain functions. Medication can also help stabilize mood, help people with ADHD focus, and help people perform daily functions that their mental illness might have been affecting.

Mental health organizations including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) agree that drugs like antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, mood stabilizers, and other psychotropic drugs can be vital to mental health patients’ wellbeing. The World Health Organization (WHO) even reports that the benefits of mental illness medications far outweigh the possible side-effects. So it’s no wonder that medication is such a vital building block of mental health.

Unfortunately, some people don’t respond as well to medication, or they can’t tolerate the side effects. If this is the case, there are other treatment options available, such as TMS or Ketamine. If you’re not sure whether medication or another treatment is a good option for you, schedule an appointment with a professional who can assess your symptoms and help you figure out the best solution.

The Importance of Properly Managing Your Medication

Although medication can be an effective and life-changing treatment for those who struggle with mental illness, medication is only effective when taken properly. Forgetting to take medication, taking it at different times of the day, and other bad habits can lead to adverse side effects as well as the medication not working properly.

When you start a new medication, pay close attention to what your psychiatrist and pharmacist tell you so that you can make sure you are taking it correctly. You might be surprised at how much of a difference changing your habits can make.

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If you are following the regimen that your psychiatrist prescribed but you still don’t feel like your medication is benefiting you, speak with the doctor right away. You might need to take a larger dose, take your meds at a different time of day, or even switch to a different medication.

Medication is a very effective treatment for a variety of different mental health issues as long as you manage it carefully. It takes time to find the right medication and even more time to figure out if it is working properly. Patience and commitment to regularly taking your medication can make a huge difference for your overall wellbeing.

Also, keep in mind that your psychiatrist is happy to answer any questions and address any concerns that you might have about your medication. If something isn’t working, tell your psychiatrist so that they can help you fix the problem.

Remember, however, that medication doesn’t fix all of your problems. Sometimes there are other factors that contribute to mental illness besides chemical imbalances, like past trauma or stressors in your everyday life.

To be the best you can be, you have to rely on all three building blocks: diet and exercise, medication management, and regular counseling, which we will cover next time. In the meantime, if you have any more questions about your medication options, contact us at Serenity Mental Health Centers to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist.

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.