Psych Meds

The role of benzodiazepines in managing mental illness: image of brain circuits and Rx medication bottle

The Role of Benzodiazepines in Managing Mental Illness

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of medications that act as central nervous system depressants. They’re used for a variety of different purposes, but in the context of psychiatric treatment, they sometimes end up being used in managing mental illnesses that they aren’t actually indicated for. In some cases, over-reliance on benzos can mean that …

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Managing medications: Getting a pill dosette

Managing Psych Medications: Getting a Pill Dosette

This post was inspired by a post a little while back by Mio at Mentally Ill in America. Managing medications can be a basic part of mental illness/chronic illness life. But doing it without a system may only work for so long, especially when brain fog gets in the way. At that point, it might …

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

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 …

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Medication half-life: graphic of a capsule pouring into an hourglass

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

If you take meds, or even if you haven’t, you may have heard of medication 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. There …

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Medications that can help with nightmares: cartoon of scared person in bed

Medications That Can Help with Nightmares in PTSD

Anyone can have nightmares, but up to 80% of people with PTSD experience nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD. The idea for this came from an article that SkinnyHobbit shared about the treatment of nightmares, which is based on recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2018. What can worsen nightmares Some …

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

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 …

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Taking psychiatric medication - despite the stigma, it's okay to take psych meds

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) …

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The bias inherent in online stories of psych med side effects

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 …

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

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 …

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Naltrexone: what it's approved for and what it has some evidence of benefit for

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, naltrexone works more slowly and is longer-acting.  It’s available …

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