About Psych Meds Made Simple
People living with mental illness are often left out of the loop when it comes to understanding how exactly medications work. This book explains pharmacology in a simplified, accessible way to help you understand the effects, both positive and negative, of psychiatric medications and why these effects occur. It’s everything you didn’t realize you wanted to know about medications!
Psych Meds Made Simple begins with the essentials of pharmacology and then moves on to cover all the major classes of psychiatric medications. You’ll learn why one medication in a particular class might be a better fit for you than another. Are you having weight gain from your medication? You’ll find out why, and what other meds may be less likely to have the same side effect.
I’ve pulled together what I’ve learned in my training as a nurse and (former) pharmacist and years of clinical experience, added in my personal perspective from having taken many of these medications, and distilled it all down to the essential elements you need to know.
I’ve written this book from the perspective that medications can be a powerful tool against mental illness; however, they’re not a cure and they should never be the only tool in your toolbox. The more you know, the better position you’re in to make decisions about your own health and illness.
- Neurotransmitters and receptors
- Psychopharmacology fundamentals – how medications behave inside the body
- Mood stabilizers
- Anxiolytics and sedatives
- Putting the pieces together
Reader Responses to Psych Meds Made Simple
Purchased this book, very easy to read and understand, particularly for volunteers who are new to mental health. Will purchase 5 more for our volunteers on Amazon – well done Ashley.— Care in Mind (@CareinMind) on Twitter
The book itself was very user-friendly. I’m a therapist and I can see myself referring to this book as I work with clients who are receiving medication management.– Johnzelle Anderson, Panoramic Counseling
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About Ashley L. Peterson
I began my career in health care as a pharmacist in 2002, and quickly returned to school to become a nurse two years later. I specialized in the field of mental health for my entire 15-year career, working with people with serious mental illness in both hospital and community settings.
Two years into my nursing career, I was hospitalized with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Since then, I’ve been passionate about challenging the stigma around mental illness. I completed a Master of Psychiatric Nursing degree in 2015, despite two hospitalizations while in grad school. My thesis work and several related academic journal publications focused on my experience of mental illness within the context of nursing culture. I’m no longer working due to my illness, but I continue my education and advocacy efforts online.
More from MH@H on Psych Meds
Research can’t tell you what will work for you, but it can tell you what’s got the best chance of working.
- Borderline personality disorder & medications
- Depression treatment:
- Treatment guidelines:
There’s a risk of side effects with any medication, and it comes down to an individual weighing of pros and cons of different options. In some cases, side effects may be an acceptable price to pay for a med that helps.
- Antidepressant side effects & delayed therapeutic effect: there’s actual a rhyme and a reason to it
- Antipsychotics and the likelihood of weight gain: this looks at research findings regarding which antipsychotics are better/worse with regards to this side effects; the post Do I Look Fat in this Seroquel? Psych Meds & Weight Gain also talks about this issue
- Bias in online stories of side effects: just because lots of people share their negative experiences with meds online doesn’t mean you’re getting the whole picture
- Do you blame your illness or your meds?: if you experience something, such as fatigue, are you more likely to attribute it to illness or meds?
- Living with side effects: sometimes side effects are worth putting up with for the benefit or a medication
- Meds that can cause psychiatric side effects: some medications can cause psychotic, manic, or depressive symptoms
- Suicide risk with antidepressants – the real story
More on Medications
- Do we know how psych meds work?: science knows a lot about what meds do; it’s how that translates into a therapeutic effect that isn’t clear
- Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression
- My version of being pro-medication: I’m very pro-meds as an option, but they’re not the right for everyone
- Naltrexone: studies have shown that this opioid blocker has more uses than just addiction
- Our complicated relationships with psych meds: it’s not just taking pills; it can become a moral, social issue
- Pregnancy and medication use
- Pharma: the Pharma–psychiatry relationship, and the problems with direct-to-consumer ads of Rx drugs
- Taking psych meds: I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours
Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis is also on:
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