Psych Meds Made Simple

Naltrexone – An Opioid Blocker That Gets Around

Naltrexone (brand names include Vivitrol and ReVia) blocks opioid receptors just like Narcan (naloxone), which is used to treat opioid overdoses.  Both drugs prevent any opioids in the vicinity From being able to latch onto opioid receptors and do their opioid thing.  While Narcan and fast- and short-acting, naloxone works more slowly and is longer-acting. … Continue reading Naltrexone – An Opioid Blocker That Gets Around

blister packed pink and white pills
Psych Meds Made Simple

My Version of Being Pro-Medication

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm pretty pro-medication when it comes to mental illness.  I thought it would be worthwhile, though, to give a little bit more nuanced perspective. The basis of my take on meds comes from my professional training as a pharmacist and then a nurse, years of experience, and many hours of… Continue reading My Version of Being Pro-Medication

dark silhouette of a pregnant woman in front of a window
Psych Meds Made Simple

Medication Use in Pregnancy

The world likes to get judgy when it comes to medications, particularly those that are viewed as addictive or otherwise "bad" in some way.  The judginess grows exponentially when it's a pregnant woman taking medication. Obviously, it's a problem if a medication has a negative effect on a developing fetus.  However, in the real world,… Continue reading Medication Use in Pregnancy

antidepressants and suicide risk - the FDA black box warning
Psych Meds Made Simple

Antidepressants and Suicide Risk

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide?  There are certainly people out there who are very vocal in insisting that they do.  However, as is so often the case, the loudmouths don't tend to be especially well informed. The FDA black box warning Since 2004, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a… Continue reading Antidepressants and Suicide Risk

pills and capsules
Psych Meds Made Simple

Do We Know How Psych Meds Work?

Sometimes you'll hear people argue that doctors don't know how psych meds work, and therefore they shouldn't be used.  However, there's a lack of clarity to these statements that, at least in my opinion, casts psychotropic meds in an unfair light. What is the mechanism of action? If we're going to about how medications work,… Continue reading Do We Know How Psych Meds Work?

Psych Meds Made Simple

Do Medications Help Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a hard to treat condition that can cause significant distress for those living with it.  While the gold standard for treatment is psychotherapy, specifically dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), medications may also play a supporting role, and that's what this post will focus on. Antidepressants Antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, are some of… Continue reading Do Medications Help Borderline Personality Disorder?

Psych Meds Made Simple by Ashley L. Peterson book cover
Psych Meds Made Simple

It’s Book Release Day for Psych Meds Made Simple!

My first book, Psych Meds Made Simple: How & Why They Do What They Do, is available today on Amazon as an ebook or paperback.  It's everything you didn't realize you wanted to know about medications! So, what's this book about?  People living with mental illness are often left out of the loop when it comes… Continue reading It’s Book Release Day for Psych Meds Made Simple!

scale with uneven balance
Psych Meds Made Simple, Stigma

Generation Rx – Weighing Medication Risks & Benefits

Mediamodifier on Pixabay I recently watched the documentary Letters From Generation Rx on Amazon Prime, which looked at instances of people experiencing significant side effects while on psychiatric medication, including people who took the lives of either themselves or others while on psychiatric meds. One man featured in the film was a Canadian Member of… Continue reading Generation Rx – Weighing Medication Risks & Benefits

red pills in the shape of an X
Psych Meds Made Simple

My Experiences of Going Off Meds

PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay I have never had a problem with medications in general, and in my work as a nurse, I've seen how much good they can do.  Despite that, I've gone off the meds I take for depression a few times, and that's what this post is about. My first episode of depression was… Continue reading My Experiences of Going Off Meds

Evidence-based treatment from Mental Health @ Home
Psych Meds Made Simple

Evidence-Based Treatment of Anxiety

3dman_eu on Pixabay In this post I'll take a look at some of the available guidelines for evidence-based treatment of anxiety disorders.  While psychotherapies are extremely important in the management of anxiety disorders, this post will focus only on anti-anxiety medications.  The treatment guidelines I refer to come from the British Association for Psychopharmacology and… Continue reading Evidence-Based Treatment of Anxiety