Psychiatric Medication

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Introduction
Publications
Research and Practice
Videos and Presentations
Organisations
Links


Introduction

Medications are used to treat the symptoms of mental health diagnoses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic-depressive illness), anxiety disorders, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sometimes medications are used with other treatments such as psychotherapy. Generally, psychiatric drugs can’t cure a mental health problem. But in some cases, they can help reduce the symptoms or help people cope with them better. Psychiatric medications carry risk for adverse effects. The occurrence of adverse effects can potentially reduce drug compliance.

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Publications (date ordered)

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs Will Hall, 2013 52-page illustrated guide gathers the best information and the most valuable lessons about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication. Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement, this Guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations, and is available a growing number of translations. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, psychiatric drug withdrawal, information for people staying on their medications, detailed Resource section, and much more. A 'harm reduction' approach means not being pro- or anti- medication, but supporting people where they are at to make their own decisions, balancing the risks and benefits involved. Written by Will Hall, with a 55-member health professional Advisory Board providing research assistance and more than 50 collaborators involved in developing and editing. 

The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs Dr Joanna Moncrieff Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs have become some of the biggest blockbusters of the early 21st century, increasingly prescribed not just to people with 'schizophrenia' or other severe forms of mental disturbance but for a range of more common psychological complaints. This book challenges the accepted account that portrays antipsychotics as specific treatments that target an underlying brain disease and explores early views that suggested, in contrast, that antipsychotics achieve their effects by inducing a state of neurological suppression. Professional enthusiasm for antipsychotics eclipsed this understanding, exaggerated the benefits of antipsychotics and minimized or ignored evidence of their toxic effects. The pharmaceutical industry has been involved in expanding the use of antipsychotics into territory where it is likely that their dangers far outweigh their advantages.

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families Peter Roger Breggin, 2012 This is the first book to establish guidelines and to assist prescribers and therapists in withdrawing their patients from psychiatric drugs, including those patients with long-term exposure to antipsychotic drugs, benzodiazepines, stimulants, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. It describes a method developed by the author throughout years of clinical experience, consultations with experienced colleagues, and scientific research. Based on a person-centered collaborative approach, with patients as partners, this method builds on a cooperative and empathic team effort involving prescribers, therapists, patients, and their families or support network. The author, known for such books as Talking Back to Prozac , Toxic Psychiatry, and Medication Madness, is a lifelong reformer and scientist in mental health whose work has brought about significant change in psychiatric practice. This book provides critical information about when to consider psychiatric drug reduction or withdrawal, and how to accomplish it as safely, expeditiously, and comfortably as possible. It offers the theoretical framework underlying this approach along with extensive scientific information, practical advice, and illustrative case studies that will assist practitioners in multiple ways, including in how to: Recognize common and sometimes overlooked adverse drug effects that may require withdrawal. Treat emergencies during drug therapy and during withdrawal. Determine the first drugs to withdraw during multi-drug therapy. Distinguish between withdrawal reactions, newly occurring emotional problems, and recurrence of premedication issues. Estimate the length of withdrawal.

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America Robert Whitaker Broadway Books 2011 This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit? By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies—all of which point to the same startling conclusion—been kept from the public?  In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.

The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment Paperback Dr Joanna Moncrieff Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 This book exposes the traditional view that psychiatric drugs target underlying diseases, or correct chemical imbalances, as a fraud. It traces the emergence of this view and suggests that it was adopted, not because there was any evidence to support it, but because it served the vested interests of the psychiatric profession, the pharmaceutical industry and the modern state. Instead it is proposed that psychiatric drugs 'work' by creating altered mental states, which may suppress the symptoms of psychiatric disorders, along with other intellectual and emotional functions. Research on antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers and stimulants is examined to demonstrate this thesis and the pros and cons of using the different sorts of drugs are discussed. It is suggested that acknowledging the real nature of psychiatric drugs would lead to a more democratic practice of psychiatry.  New chapter on Stimulant Drugs and ADHD.

A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs (Straight Talking Introductions) by Joanna Moncrieff (Author), Richard Bentall (Editor), Pete Sanders (Editor) PCCS Books 2009 Psychiatric drugs and their use are amongst the most hotly debated issues in the 21st century. How they work, whether they are effective and how to understand the evidence, and explanations of the major categories of psychiatric drugs are all covered in this clearly written guide. The competing theories of drug action are also explained in easy-to-understand terms. Here, Joanna Moncrieff arms you with some of the information you'll need to make informed choices about psychiatric drugs. She provides an honest account of the uses of medication, when it is advised and what effects it may have. The book concludes with gives practical advice on the right questions to ask if you are prescribed medication for mental health problems and what happens on withdrawal of medication.

Psychiatric Drugs Explained David Healey, Churchill Livingstone, 5th edition 2008 Contains a clear and comprehensive guide to the uses, benefits and impact of psychotropic drugs. It explains how people taking the drugs experience their side effects compared to the benefits they may bring. The fifth edition has been fully revised and updated to include the latest thinking on the rationale for drug treatements to help mental health professionals and service users understand therapeutic decision making.

Improving access and use of psychotropic medications World Health Organisation, 2005  Mental and behavioural disorders account for a large proportion of the global burden of disease, but only a minority of those suffering from such disorders receive basic treatment. Relatively few people with mental disorders consult a physician. In developing countries, health systems often are not able to provide even the most essential mental care.In the World Health Report 2001 (WHO, 2001a), a series of recommendations were made on how to improve care for people with mental disorders. The recommendations include improving access to a limited selection of “essential psychotropic medicines”. These are medicines that satisfy the priority mental health care needs of a population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, and based on evidence of their efficacy, safety and comparative cost-effectiveness. They can be used for the treatment of symptoms of mental disorders, to shorten the course of many disorders, reduce disability and prevent relapse. Not all “effective” pharmaceutical therapies are “essential”.The experiences of many countries demonstrate that improvements in the supply and use of medicines are possible. Systematic knowledge on strategies to improve access to medicines is also available. Yet over one-third of the world’s population currently lacks regular access to essential medicines. Whereas psychotropics have many aspects in common with other essential medicines, there are also several aspects that need special consideration when improving access.

Coming off Psychiatric Drugs Successful withdrawal from neuroleptics, antidepressants, lithium, carbamazepine and tranquilizers  Peter Lehmann, Peter Lehmann Publishing 2004 The first book in the world about the issue of successfully coming off psychiatric drugs primarily addresses people in treatment who decide to withdraw. It also addresses their relatives and therapists. Millions of people are taking psychiatric drugs, such as Haloperidol, Prozac, Risperidone or Zyprexa. For them, detailed accounts of how others came off these substances without ending up once again in the doctor's office are of fundamental interest. In this manual, 28 former psychiatric patients from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Serbia & Montenegro, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA write about their experiences with withdrawal. Additionally, eight professionals, working in psychotherapy, medicine, psychiatry, social work, natural healing and even in a runaway-house, report on how they help in the withdrawal process.

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Research and Practice

Denying the effects of psychiatric drugs on health is indeed a scandal International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (2012) The physical health of people who use public mental health services in many countries deteriorates over the time that they use services. It is indeed scandalous that a group having such regular contact with health professionals should come to die so many years before their peers.

 A Brief History of Psychiatric Drug Development Dr Hugh Marston British Association for Psychopharmacology 2013 The first major breakthroughs in the development of effective psychiatric drugs came in the years following the Second World War. The introduction of effective anti-psychotics, to treat schizophrenia, and anti-depressants revolutionised how the mentally ill were cared for.

3 Studies show little efficacy and possible risks for psychiatric medication  The Critical Psychiatrist, 2011 Three new studies: one, a pharmaco-genetic study, conclude that widely prescribed psychotropic drugs that pose serious risks of harm, offer no therapeutic benefit.

Warning over newer antidepressants pills Independent, 2011  Newer antidepressants may increase the risk of serious health problems in older people compared to older pills, researchers say. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to cause death and issues such as heart attack, stroke, falls and seizures than older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Researchers from the universities of Nottingham and East Anglia analysed data for more than 60,000 people diagnosed with depression between 1996 and 2007. All were aged 65 and over.

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Videos and Presentations

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Organisations

APRIL (Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link) The charity was founded and established in 1998 to reduce the occurrence of adverse psychiatric side-effects of prescribed medicines by promoting awareness and campaigning for changes in drug safety.

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Links

RxISK is an independent website where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs and easily report a drug side effect — identifying problems and possible solutions earlier than is currently happening. 

Psychiatric medication listed by category from North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT)

Medication for mental health problems Information from the Mental Health Foundation (UK)

Psychiatric Medication Information from wikipedia

Mental Health Medications Information from the National Institute of Mental Health

Psychiatric drugs: an alphabetical list List of all psychiatric drugs currently available in the UK from Mind

Medications Information from Rethink (UK) 

 

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