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Mental Wellbeing. Part Two of Two. Prescription drugs for Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Pain. Meeting with a Psychiatrist
Mental Wellbeing. Herbal (Natural) Medication? Drug Prescriptions?
Part Two of Two: Prescription drugs for Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Pain. Meeting with a Psychiatrist
If we press the hand close to the eyes, we cannot see the lines of the hand. This situation has parallels to our relationship to the state of mind. The immersion and collusion of consciousness with an embedded state of mind becomes embroiled in the unresolved problem.
You may experience that mindfulness, meditation, reflection, counselling, therapy and walks in nature make little or no difference. The mental health issue stubbornly refuses to go away. Consciousness, a mindset and brain have become stuck with occasional or no relief from a hellish state of mind.
Having explored the non-medical approach, the sufferer then takes steps for medication. That means a consultation with a psychiatrist, who has the authority to issue a prescription for the patient to take drugs and make recommendation with regular consultations with the psychiatrist or a psychologist.
Embarrassment, guilt and resistant can get in the way of communication, as well as difficulty knowing what to say. Let your psychiatrist know your difficulty in speaking.
Endeavour to enter the consultation with a quiet determination to be honest and open as much as possible. It is not easy, but it will help to move forward in the healing process
Twelve Points to the Bring to the Psychiatrist if you are unsure about anything
1. Provide the psychiatrist with notes/reflections before you arrive or upon arrival so the doctor has essential information in her/his hands already.
2. If you find it difficult to prepare notes about yourself, speak to someone who can write the notes/reflections down for you.
3. Ask how much time you have with the psychiatrist.
4. Ask will there be future consultations and how often.
5. Ask when you will receive a prescription and what drugs or medicine cannot co-exist in the body.
6. Ask if you will see the psychiatrist again or somebody she/he recommends
7. Write down notes before of when condition is most troubling and when less.
8. Speak briefly of its impact – eating, sleeping, communication, energy, work, family…
9. Ask the psychiatrist to write down the diagnosis.
10. Ask the psychiatrist to write down why he/she has prescribed the specific medication.
11. Ask for a suitable daily life programme/routine to develop to accompany the medication.
12. Ask what side-effects you might expect from this medication?
Trust is a major element with the psychiatrist. What is your response to the session? Seriously consider a consultation with another psychiatrist or two. It does not mean to say you have doubts about the first consultation, but you will get a sense of your response to different consultations.
Remember it is your mental health. A certain depth of trust can go a long way in the development towards well-being.
A person who seriously requires medication can often move quickly through this period of mental suffering to regain a degree of composure. Except in rare cases, prescription drugs serve as a short-term support in necessary cases. Psychiatric drugs should be reserved for those for whom no other way has worked.
Common forms of mental suffering frequently requiring medical intervention
(In alphabetical order)
• eating disorders
• obsessive-compulsive disorder
• personality disorders.
• post-traumatic stress disorder
• psychotic episodes
Without exploring important alternative to prescription drugs, people opt to see a psychiatrist for medication due to:
• constant worry
• detachment from feelings
• emotional problems, persistent unhappiness
• feeling low, loss of energy/interest
• intense levels of stress
• painful relationship problems.
• persistent anger
A prescription may be given simply because the patient wants a quick fix instead of understanding and changing the causes/conditions that brought about the suffering. That will require skilled counselling/practices. Sadly, the State may not provide the infrastructure to train and support the number of required psychologists, analysts, counsellors, facilitators and mindfulness teachers to offer the necessary guidance for a suffering society. Citizens become more dependent on prescriptions to alleviate suffering in the short term rather than guidance to resolve suffering in the long term. Drug dependency increases year by year.
People in the helping professions in the public and private sector find themselves intensely overworked and stressed out due to the sheer numbers of men, women, children and families they meet week after week. It is an intolerable situation. Prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are not a solution but have become part of the problem.
Around 66% of the population in the past week in the USA rely upon prescription drugs and around 50% in the UK. This reveals society employing a mental health care system unfit for purpose with increasing dependency on drugs. The constant swallowing of tablets weakens the mind-body increasing dependency on more prescriptions.
Psychiatrists often prescribe an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) The doctors consider these drugs as having fewer side effects than other types of anti-depressants.
SSRIs relieves anxiety, depression and pain by boosting low levels of serotonin in the brain. The drugs prevent the reuptake of serotonin. This makes more of the chemical available.
Common generic name with brand name in brackets, SSRIs include:
• Citalopram (Celexa),
• Escitalopram (Lexapro),
• Fluoxetine (Prozac),
• Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva),
• Sertraline (Zoloft)
From a US website (2019) on SSRIs.
The most commonly prescribed SSRIs include:
1. Prozac (fluoxetine): Prozac is one of the most popular SSRIs in the United States. FDA has approved for children and teenagers.
2. Celexa (citalopram): Taking high doses has been associated with a rare heart rhythm problem.
3. Zoloft (sertraline): Zoloft is highly effective, although some people find it’s more likely than other SSRIs to cause diarrhoea. Zoloft is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant
4. Paxil (paroxetine): More likely to have sexual side effects with Paxil over other antidepressants. It’s also linked to increased sweating. Paroxetine did not make the list of the 10 most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs
Medication alone will not cure issues of suffering in the mind. Medication can only help to relieve suffering.
Resolution of suffering includes wise counsel to support making changes in our life, including fresh ways of looking at situation. A person learns to deepen their connection with life to express a wise and loving response to situations.
Drugs have the capacity to release serotonin in the brain, find space around the unresolved brain, experience a degree of balance and have a greater capacity to function in daily life.
You can consider medication as a tool in the box of tools to develop well-being. Three other tools matter as well –
• See your psychiatrist or an appointed person at least once a month to check progress with medication
• Share experience with another(s) such as regular meetings with a wise counsellor
• Participate in small groups to learn from each other in the physical world or on Zoom
• Find ways to make changes in lifestyle
Changes in Lifestyle
An intense identification with a problematic state of mind makes it a major challenge to take gradual steps towards well-being. As you progress, you will begin to reduce the dependency on drugs and counselling. You need to provide a basic report of progress, stagnation or regress to your psychiatrist or psychologist.
Here are daily life considerations
1. Set yourself three tasks a day. Morning. Afternoon. Evening.
2. Upon completion of a task (buying food, washing dishes etc.), acknowledge this.
3. Keep a dairy of your daily experience. Ensure you include moments of appreciation.
4. Exercise/Walking/Dance/ releases endorphins through bringing more blood and oxygen to the brain cells.
5. Engage in mindfulness exercises, such as mindfulness of breathing
6. Be creative. A short poem. A drawing. Change appearance in your home, such as locations for contents in a cupboard.
7. Make your meals a key event of the day. Nutritious food. Individual colours on a plate can have more appeal than mixed up dishes. For example, green salad, potatoes/rice/pasta, separation of vegetables. A coloured mosaic.
8. Value the time on your feet/ out of doors/engaged in supportive communication.
9. Minimise time engrossed in a mobile phone.
10. Set times for sleep.
You might find yourself caught up in negative thinking about yourself, your life, others or life itself. Negative thinking puts wood on the fire of the problem.
You do not have to try to force yourself to think positively.
Do something as quickly as possible before the negative thinking sets in.
Here are eight steps to cut negative thinking
• Open your eyes,
• Name firmly what is around you – a table, a chair, a plate of food.
• See the colours and shapes of items in the physical world
• Play music,
• Make a call,
• Get up, move the body
• Read aloud from a page in a book.
• Go outdoors
Side effects of SSRIs) include:
• Dry mouth
• Sexual problems (low sex drive/ inability to have an orgasm)
A healthy diet and lifestyle will support renewal and recovery from the impact of medication on cellular life.
Be mindful and appreciate the changes you make in daily life, so you do not slip back into the conditions that led to mental suffering.
National Drug Helpline website provides much useful information.
Call the National Drug Helpline USA (844) 289-0879