5 Must-Knows about Psychotropic Medication

There are many who seem to think medicine can solve any problem. That things like anxiety and depression simply need a pill to wash it away. This can be true for severe cases, but I find in my personal experience it does not happen always as planned. Sometimes, it can even worsen the issue if there is either a miscommunication or misinterpretation of symptoms. It is for this purpose I chose to write this article, to raise awareness of a deeper issue that effects many. This is not to say that mental or psychotropic medications cannot be useful, or in some cases crucial. But I feel that it is overdone in media and social circles to the point where people seem to miss the point of the medication. Here are 5 things you should know about psychotropic medication:


1) They can be Useful

First and foremost, they will do as medically intended for those in need of it. People with severe anxiety can be tuned down if under the proper dosage of their prescription, or even jump start the unmotivated and depressed. By no means is this an argument against these forms of treatment, as they do have much in the ways of merit.


2) They can Support Psychotherapy

On top of following design, some forms of psychotropic medications can be used as a stabling agent, allowing for better treatment of an underlying issue. In a way, it can be useful to ease up on the issue in question so the individual can then more easily discover and remedy their troubles that caused or contributed to said issue.


3) They can be Harmful

Just like any other form of medication, there are side effects. Some can be physical such as dizziness, drowsiness, and changes in appetite. There can also be psychological side effects such as mood swings, disinterest in activities, or emotional numbness, which can sometimes beg the question if it’s a worthwhile risk for the reward. In some cases, the medication doesn’t help the issue at hand, but makes it worse instead. In this case, the patient must immediately notify their psychiatrist for help for further analysis as there may be a bad diagnosis or dosage.


4) They may not even be necessary

You heard right, the issue may not even require medication. This includes anything that is rooted outside of the brain’s biology and really lies in a personal issue the individual is not dealing with properly. Studies even show that, in some of these cases, these very real psychotropic medications are little more than placebos for the issue. Issues that require therapy and other forms of counseling as a better treatment.


5) They can interfere with emotions as well

Some studies have shown that once certain drugs enter their system, they find they can’t laugh, cry, or feel as much as they used to. In other cases, it can even effect one’s love life or sex drive. On top of all the other risks, these can even accumulate to sprout more issues.


In short, these medications have many pros and cons and may not even be helpful to the issue on an individual level. Keep these things in mind when trying to medicate mental or cognitive issues and please seek assistance from BOTH medical professionals and counseling professionals. These tools can be invaluable for anyone seeking help with themselves.




  1.  Antidepressants linked to major personality changes. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-sci-antidepressants8-2009dec08-story.html
  2. Nordqvist, C. (2010, August 24). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Plus Medication Better Than Medication Alone For ADHD Adult Patients. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/198809.php
  3. Publications, H. H. (n.d.). What are the real risks of antidepressants? Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/what-are-the-real-risks-of-antidepressants
  4. Fournier, M. J. (2010, January 06). Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity. Retrieved June 13, 2017, from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/185157
  5. http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/18ecn.pdf




Edited by Viveca Shearin

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  1. Article attempts to fairly discuss pros and cons of antipsychotics, but falls short. First, the term antipsychotic drug is not defined. Secondly, I’m unsure of what “on top of following design” means, and point two is unclear. Finally, the point is left put that not one drug fits all, nor is the first try of a drug successful. It is common that several types of antidepressants need to be tried, as well as several dosage amounts. This can also change over time. The article does cite references for further investigation, as well as point out that drugs plus therapy are usually needed.

  2. This article was so great, it was unbiased and showed two different sides to medication. I hear a lot of discourse about how people should take medication and other therapies without medication don’t work. From my own experience I’ve sort of been pressured to take it, but I didn’t because I knew it wasn’t right for me. The important thing is that people get a choice, not everything works for everybody and the same goes for medication. It really depends on the person and their own personal situation. I would love to see more detail though about why medication is a good choice for some people but not for others. Over all, a great article.

  3. This article is well researched as shown by the resources provided, however you could go much more further on this topic.

  4. Even though the topic seems fairly obvious to anyone with a healthy dose of common sense, it is good to actually bring it out there and into the proverbial light. Because, admittedly, it does seem like a lot of people choose to be ignorant about this [and quite a few other things as well].

    What I would have appreciated would be a more in-depth view on the topic. Perhaps adding a little more information from the sources and weaving them into the text, instead of making a few slightly vague points on the subject [even though I understand the goal could have been to merely condense everything; some practical information the readers could have taken away from this would be appreciated].

  5. Short and to the point, well done. As a reader I usually don’t like when the writer addresses that they are writing the article in the article itself, but in this case it was relevant and flowed quite smoothly. Some readers may be looking for more in depth information, which is why it would be helpful for you to reference your specific sources throughout the body of text in addition to a list at the end of the piece.

  6. Really concise, and I love the well defined points. I feel that the points could have a tad longer paragraphs and perhaps a bit more meat to your points. However, you definitely get the quality over quantity award!

    One thing I’d like to point out is your title. The points you brought up are very much “must-knows.” However, I feel like these are more of “side effects” or “secrets.” These are things commonly not talked about, mentioned, or even known. So a title along the lines of, “5 Things We Don’t Discuss About Psychotropic Medication.”

    Overall, however. Great job, and keep up the good work!

  7. Wow, what a nice well written piece! Your five “must knows’ also have references for citation which helps in credibility! I don’t have many criticisms, but I’d suggest defining a few terms for readers who are unfamiliar with “psychotropic” and “psychotherapy”. I also found myself wanting to know what “the other risks” are in must know number 5. Lastly, I think your conclusion can be stronger. I might just be nit picky here, but “in short” is a weak start to a conclusion. It works, as it clearly states “I’m concluding now and here’s a summary” but it leaves much to be desired in the craft of writing. All in all, a marvelous piece!

  8. As a person who is battling whether or not to be put on medication for depression and anxiety this article was very informative. I still am where I started before I read the article. I don’t know whether I want to be medicated or not. This article broke down the good and the bad but there seems to be more bad than good. Nice article but it confused me more than it helped me

  9. Well finally someone said it!
    I feel like every other person nowadays takes meds. I roll my eyes every time since I really think, most times, they don’t even need those. You said it correctly: “(…) anything that is rooted outside of the brain’s biology and really lies in a personal issue (…)” Many people don’t even take time to inform themselves about the drug since they are too busy or just trust their therapist. There are SO many natural ways one can improve their health without having unfortunate consequences such as numbness or stomach/liver problems because of so much pills.
    I like that this article was really concise without too much small talk. Great:)

  10. This article finally explains why people with mental issues don’t simply seek out medication. These pros and cons can change a person physically, emotionally, and of course mentally. The decision to make when confronted by the choice of taking psychotropic medicine or not can be put into perspective when you weigh all of these risks and rewards.

    I’d like to hear some alternatives though besides therapy, if there are any.

  11. As someone who has recently been debating whether or not to seek medical treatment for depression, I was intrigued to read this article. The article made me rethink my stance on the issue, however, does not fully persuade me. As I read this article, I feel that I’m reading a fact sheet rather than an article. I think it could have been developed further to turn this factual article into a more persuasive one and I don’t necessarily know which one the author was going for. Yet, I feel more informed on the topic and enjoyed the read. This is an important topic that needed awareness brought to and I thank the author for writing about it, informing us, and attaching links for further research.

  12. While this article attempts to weigh the pros and cons of taking medication for mental health problems, it falls short in providing solid arguments for each statement. In-text citations from medical sources would greatly improve the arguments being made about whether or not going on medication is the right choice for a person.
    Also, it should be stressed that taking medication is not the choice for everyone, instead of saying that it isn’t necessary. For some people, it really is; while for others, it isn’t. Provide explanations as to how one can come to that decision, and reasons why they would or would not benefit from medical treatment.
    Furthermore, taking medication is not just about listening to what your doctor or therapist recommends. It requires research, and sometimes, the initial treatment they give might not be suited for that person’s needs. Going on medication requires trying out different prescriptions and finding out which bests works for that person. It’s trial and error. If a person’s medication is harmful to them, then they shouldn’t be on that medication.
    The article does try to cover these issues, but it is done so quickly and not in depth, when this is a topic people need to be properly informed about if they are to make a decision that could affect their mental health and their life.

  13. I was really glad to see this topic discussed, for I’ve always questioned the dangers of taking medications. This was very direct and to the point just as the title represents it to be. I liked how the article was also informative with both the positive and the negative aspects of taking medication and it was very important that the article mentioned the dangers of the misinterpretation of symptoms. However, I would have also liked to see some more facts supporting both sides of the article.
    Statement number four was a great thing to get readers to think about, as I feel sometimes people may not always need medication, leaving therapy to be all that is required. Of course though, it’s still important for those who really do need medication.
    Medications should of course be a thought out process especially with the side effects as well. Overall I feel the article was informative with revealing the brief facts that there can be negative sides to medications and was a nice article in spreading more awareness to this side of psychology.

  14. Solid work! I also agree with some of the other comments, though; it’s a very brief look and leaves the reader wanting more information. While it’s entirely possible for the reader to simply look up more information (perhaps in the handy citations you’ve so kindly included), what purpose did you write this piece for, if not to provide readers with a basic understanding where they wouldn’t feel they needed to dive deeper to really understand? You could perhaps discuss what most of these medications actually do in our bodies. They block reuptake of what I refer to as happy chemicals, though sometimes it doesn’t provoke the happy feeling that one might expect. It can leave a patient feeling overwhelmed with emotion for seemingly no reason (I can personally attest to this). I also feel like you left out some pros. Another commenter mentioned that you seem to have more cons than pros. While this doesn’t necessarily come of as biased, it also feels just a little one sided. That being said, you seem to have left out the biggest con of all. In some patients, medication can actually encourage suicidal thoughts, even if they weren’t occurring prior to being medicated.
    Thanks for writing!

  15. Really interesting article, albeit a bit brief! As a psychology student, we get taught a lot on which medications would help what disorders, but never massive effects it may have on a person. So, even though this article gave a good start, I will have to further reading and research to looks at why they don’t work for some people.

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