Psychiatric Treatment

Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications

I can’t think of any other type of health condition that has such polarized relationships with medications as mental illness. In some ways, to medicate or not to medicate has become a moral issue, with various involved parties taking a stance based on principle. Often, this stance is very broad, making sweeping generalizations. Public misconceptions …

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Evidence-based treatment of mental illness

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Guidelines

In 2013 the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments combed through the scientific literature and put together these guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of bipolar disorder. Treatments are classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line based on the strength of existing evidence to support their effectiveness. The …

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TED Talks: Mental Illness

Here are a few great TED Talks I’ve found on a variety of topics related to mental health and illness. The Voices in My Head (Eleanor Longden) A psychiatrist once told Eleanor Longden that she would be better off having cancer than a psychotic illness, as it would be more curable. Having the voice she …

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Evidence-based treatment of mental illness

Do Antidepressants Work Better Than Placebo?

Do antidepressants work? There’s a lot of stigma around psychiatric medications, and plenty of people would argue that no, antidepressants don’t work. There are also people, that argue that medication is life-saving. Those are personal experiences, but what does the research have to say? A recent paper published in the Lancet, and reported on in …

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Psych Meds 101 series: Anti-anxiety meds, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and sleep meds

Psych Meds 101: Antidepressants

It can be really useful to understand how medications work, as it can make both the therapeutic effects and side effects make more sense. As a mental health nurse, former pharmacist, and psych med-taker, this is a major area of interest for me. This is the first of a series of psych meds 101 posts …

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Do I Look Fat in this Seroquel? Psych Meds & Weight Gain

Society is obsessed with how we look, and in particular what size we are.  Even people who are generally quite polite feel entitled to comment on our weight and body shape, without having any idea what the backstory might be.  In the case of mental illness, there is often a great deal of backstory.