Nearly one in five Americans filled a prescription for a mental health problem during the pandemic
There is no magic pill. During the pandemic, nearly 65 million people – or one in five Americans – took prescription drugs to help with a mental health problem.
Experts note that it may take a few adjustments before switching to a medical regimen that works for a person. So how can someone know if they need medication?
“Therapy can give you the tools and skills to be able to manage and cope with symptoms. But the drug will treat the biological aspects of these disorders,” Dr. Erlanger Turner, assistant professor of psychology at the Pepperdine University and the author of “Mental Health in African Americans: Innovations in Research and Practice,” Newsy said.
“Because sometimes we’re in such a bad state that we can’t even get psychotherapy. We can be so depressed or so anxious that we cannot work with material one-on-one for a period of half an hour to 60 minutes, ”said Dr Flavia Desouza, certified psychiatrist and assistant professor at Howard University.
Experts say whether it’s about getting back to the office after working from home or stressing out about a family or a friendly reunion, communicate your boundaries in an easy way.
“You have to have options because you are the captain of the ship. It is your sanity and you are the driver. You are the one who would take the medicine every day. So it has to be your decision,” said Dr Eric French, medical director of adult psychiatry at Aurora Medical Center, said.
And if you plan to stop the drugs:
“Usually I’ll say to my patients, ‘If we stay out of this, give it six months to a year. If you take depression medication and suddenly stop cold, you may experience physical as well as emotional symptoms. Some people describe feeling like there are zaps in the brain, the kind of electrical sensation in your brain, ”French said.
The insight here is not meant to replace medical advice. If you are looking for free and inexpensive care near you, findahealthcenter.HRSA.gov or calling (800) 662-HELP might be a start.
This story originally reported by Lindsey Theis on Newsy.com