Medication for mental disorders is a relatively new treatment. For many centuries, people "got through things." We are all descended from families that found ways to survive without the need for mental health medication, so that might explain some of our reluctance to try medicines for our "nerves."
Something to consider about mental health and medication. A person't brain is made up of cells just like any other organ in the body. When it comes to a person's stomach, heart, lungs, kidneys, or liver - everyone seems to be OK that these can have an illness or problem. But when it comes to the brain, many people expect it to not have any ailments or problems. Yet that is not a logical conclusion.
The brain, like every other organ in the body, has its problems. If the brain is going to have a problem then a person might expect to see difficulties in the things that a brain does. Problems in mood regulation, attention, and thought are the types of problems that a person might expect with a mental health condition.
Mental health problems that might need medication:
Stimulants like Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, and Focalin are medications that are typically used for ADHD. In addtion to this type of medication, Strattera, is a non-stimulant medicatation that may be helpful for ADHD.
There are many different types of anti-depressants that are available. The most common ones include the SSRI's (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Prozac, Zolodt, Lexapro, and Paxil. Other types of anti-depressnats include Wellbutrin, Elavil, and Pamelor.
Anxiety is best treated with anti-depressant medications. These medications are not addictive and can help improve panic disorders, generalized anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disroders. For short term courses of treatment, minor tranquilizers like Ativan or Klonopin may be helpful.
For years, the treatment of bipolar disorder has been lithium. However, there are many alternatives to this medication. There are a number of anti-convulsant medications like Depakote, Trileptal, and Lamictal that can help. A new class of medication, atypical anti-psychotics like Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, and Abilify can help stabilize mood swings.
A new class of medication, atypical anti-psychotics like Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, and Abilify can help schizophrenia. Older types of medication for this condition include Haldol, Prolixin, Navane, and Loxitane.
Some things to consider:
The risks and dangers of an untreated depression can be much higher than side effects from medication.
Taking medication does not mean a person has to take medicine "for life." A person should only be taking medicine for a longer period of time, if that medicine is a signficant help.
You and your child should always be the guide when it comes to taking certain medicines. Medication should always be helping to improve things, not make them worst.
Always let your doctor know if you are taking any kind of supplements along with your medicine.