Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Drugs for Better of for Worse

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Aug 15, 2012 1:52 AM

There's a band called Fireworks which has an album called "Psychopharmacology." Llistening to these talented former druggies, I can't help thinking about the anxious young girl taken off Effexor cold turkey by her primary care doc, only to go through withdrawal symptoms every bit as severe as those of a heroin addict in jail. I think of the  little boy with OCD getting used to Zoloft as a crutch. And then there are the teens disagnosed with ADHD selling their Ritalin at school.I feel awful about the many doped-up institualized people on Haldol. Yes, they were aggressive, but don't drug them into oblivion. What about the well-meaning Physician's Assistant who prescribed drugs for anxiety to someone who is clearly psychotic?  They didn't work.

On the other hand, I remember the wife's reaction after her husband responded to Respiradone, saying "I have my husband back." Indeed, his paranoid delusions evaporated. Or the many patients with Bipolar Disorder who, on the right meds, finally experienced stable mood and reclaimed their lives. And the hyperactive child who now understands with medication what is feels like to "pay attention."

Psychopharmacology is a double-edged sword, dangerous as a car, useful if used sparingly and carefully, monitored completely and weaned away slowly if no longer appropriatel-- deadly otherwise. Be grateful for psychopharmacology and beware of it.

Published in Self Help Now: A community blog

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