Mental health is an important aspect of our lives, forming the very basis of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is an important determinant of how we handle stress, relate with other people, and make choices. Over the years, there has been a continual increase in the burden of mental health challenges globally. It is estimated that one in every four persons will experience mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important to have some essential knowledge on how to manage your mental health.
Top Drugs for Treating Mental Health Conditions
There are different medications for mental health conditions, and the choice of which is best for you is a decision to be made by your doctor after a proper diagnosis of your condition. However, here are some of the drugs that are generally used to treat mental health conditions:
Antidepressants are usually prescribed to individuals who experience very low moods or exhibit symptoms of depression. They also address other mental health problems such as anxiety, bulimia, and panic disorders. Scientists do not fully understand the mode of action of antidepressants. However, it is believed that they work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, which help to improve mood and emotions. There are different types of antidepressants, and they all work in different ways. Below are the various categories of antidepressants and some examples of drugs that fall under each category.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): Fluoxetine, Citalopram, Escitalopram.
Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): Duloxetine, Venlafaxine.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs): Clomipramine, Amitriptyline, Lofepramine,
Mono-amine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, Phenelzine
Others are: Edronax, Mianserin, Zispin, and trazodone.
‘Psychosis’ is a medical term used to describe seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or having strange beliefs (delusions). Antipsychotics are medications that are generally used to treat psychotic disorders. Antipsychotics work by blocking the action of dopamine, a chemical that is believed to cause psychotic symptoms when produced in excess. Some common antipsychotics include chlorpromazine, flupentixol, haloperidol, levomepromazine, and zuclopenthixol.
Benzodiazepines are a type of sedative that is used for the short-term treatment of severe anxiety and panic disorders, especially when patients do not respond to antidepressants. They are also used to treat sleeping disorders, particularly difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia). Examples include Diazepam, Lorazepam, Flurazepam, Nitrazepam among others.
Mood stabilizers are medications that can help people who experience unhelpful mood swings such as mania, hypomania, and depression. These drugs help to control and sometimes eliminate these mood swings. Mood stabilizers also form an important component of the medications used to treat bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, depression, and personality disorder. The common mood stabilizers include Lithium, Valproate, Lamotrigine, and some antipsychotics.
It is necessary to understand that drugs used for treating mental health conditions contain certain levels of side effects that your doctor can effectively manage. Therefore, these medications must be used as directed by your physician.