Why do psych medications sometimes stop working? - image of a pill bottle
Mental Illness Treatment

Why Do Psych Medications Stop Working Sometimes?

The idea for this post came from Angela of I Am My Own Island, and others have also expressed interest in her suggestion. It's taken me a while to pull this post together because there just isn't a simple answer as to why psych medications stop working out of the blue sometimes. There are various… Continue reading Why Do Psych Medications Stop Working Sometimes?

Medication half-lives: graphics of capsules and hourglass
Mental Illness Treatment

Medication Half-Life: What it Means and Why it Matters

If you take medication, or even if you haven't, you may have heard of the term half-life. But what does it actually mean? The idea for this post came from Angela of I Am My Own Island. Pharmacokinetics Half-life has to do with pharmacokinetics, which refers to the way a drug moves through the body.… Continue reading Medication Half-Life: What it Means and Why it Matters

Antipsychotics and weight gain: Which meds are most likely to pack on the pounds?
Mental Illness Treatment

Antipsychotics and the Likelihood of Weight Gain

This post is based on an article that Skinny Hobbit shared with me. It was published last year in The Lancet Psychiatry and compared the potential for weight gain with different antipsychotics. The link between antipsychotics and weight gain To start, let's talk about why antipsychotics can cause weight gain. There are multiple different neurotransmitter… Continue reading Antipsychotics and the Likelihood of Weight Gain

Taking psychiatric medication - graphics of neuron and pills
Mental Illness Treatment

Taking Psych Meds: I’ll Tell You Mine if You Tell Me Yours

There’s a lot of stigma around taking psych meds to treat mental illness. Meds certainly aren’t right for every person or every condition, but they're a good tool to have available as part of the mental illness toolbox. For all the social kerfuffle over meds, they are just a tool. Getting well (or getting by)… Continue reading Taking Psych Meds: I’ll Tell You Mine if You Tell Me Yours

Open dialogue: A novel approach to psychosis - graphic of tree made of dialogue bubbles
Mental Illness Treatment

The Open Dialogue Approach to Psychosis

I first heard of the Open Dialogue approach in the book My Beautiful Psychosis by Emma Goude. It's an alternative way of managing psychosis, and I wanted to explore it further. What it is Open Dialogue was first conceived in the Western Lapland province of Finland in the early 1980s. It emphasizes listening with the… Continue reading The Open Dialogue Approach to Psychosis

Supplements for health and illness, a $35 billion a year industry – but do they help?
Mental Illness Treatment

Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?

According to a Washington Post article, Americans spend $35 billion per year on vitamins and supplements. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to demonstrate effectiveness and safety to get approved, supplements only need to demonstrate safety. That's a lot of money to spend on things that may or may not be helpful. Just because they're "natural" doesn't… Continue reading Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?

The inherent bias in online reports of side effects
Mental Illness Treatment

Bias in Online Stories of Psych Med Side Effects

You can find all kinds of stories online of people reporting negative experiences with different forms of psychiatric medication. However, there's inherent bias in that kind of reporting of side effects, so you really can't use that information to effectively generalize how safe or effective a treatment is. In this post, we'll look at where… Continue reading Bias in Online Stories of Psych Med Side Effects

Living with side effects of psych meds - graphic of scale and pills
Mental Illness Treatment

Living with Psych Med Side Effects

For anyone who needs to take medications for a chronic condition like mental illness, dealing with side effects may end up being part of the reality of taking meds. The pros should always be outweighing the cons, but the right balance can be hard to find. No side effects is possible All medications have potential… Continue reading Living with Psych Med Side Effects

Understanding mental health credentials
Mental Illness Treatment

Understanding Mental Health Credentials

Sadly, there are plenty of incompetent mental health professionals and other helpers out there. A degree, a professional designation, and other mental health credentials are indicators of a certain level of knowledge and skill; however, that doesn't stop someone from having a bad attitude, having their head too far up their ass to do anything… Continue reading Understanding Mental Health Credentials

The problems with involuntary psychiatric treatment - graphic of a brain in a cage
Mental Illness Treatment

The Problem with Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment

Mental illness is fairly unique in that laws allow for treatment to be imposed involuntarily. I'm not against involuntary psychiatric treatment entirely, and it can play an important role, but there are some things that can and should be done better. When involuntary treatment is necessary Working as a nurse in community mental health, there… Continue reading The Problem with Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment