Medicine For Mental Health – Options To Treating Mental Illness

Medicine For Mental Health

While mental health affects a significant number of people in the world, the good news is that it can be managed and treated to full recovery.  

The mental health condition can affect anyone, so it helps to understand the various medicine for mental health as well as the options at your disposal.  

Mental health affects how we think, how we reason, how we interact with people, how we manage our daily routines, and basically our overall well-being. Good mental health is the foundation of a good life. 


The following approaches are used to determine if you have a mental illness. 

Physical examination: The doctor will look out for common physical symptoms to establish the presence or rule out a case of mental illness. 

Laboratory tests: These tests might include checks on the thyroid function or a screen for drugs such as alcohol, smoking, etc. 

Psychological analysis: A mental health professional or medical doctor will have a word with you regarding any symptoms you might be experiencing, your feelings, and your perspectives. Sometimes the healthcare providers might require that you fill a customized questionnaire to help make a comprehensive evaluation.

How Do I Know The Type Of Mental Illness I Suffer?

Sometimes it can be so difficult to establish the specific type of mental illness that you have based on your symptoms. What doctors are always able to establish easily is that you have a mental illness. But when it comes to pinpoint the specific type of mental illness, then a lot of effort and resources might be required in certain cases.  

The American Psychiatric Association has published a very comprehensive Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This manual contains specific signs and symptoms for different types of mental illnesses. Mental health professionals rely on the manual to diagnose mental health illnesses. It is also used by many insurance companies to determine the amounts of treatment reimbursements to their clients.  

Types Of Mental Health Illnesses

These are the common types of mental illness. For most of the common mental illnesses,  trained social workers can offer great help. 

Depressive disorder

 These are mental illness conditions that affect the mood, i.e. how you feel at any given time. They affect the levels of happiness and sadness and mostly tend towards more levels of sadness. Other examples of such illnesses include premenstrual dysphoric disorder and major symptoms of depression.  Sometimes, a physical activity can help reduce medical conditions associated with depression. The World Health Organization estimates that 5% of the global adult population suffers from depression. 

Disruptive mental illness

This is a type of mental illness where a person experience challenges to do with self-control on behaviors. Intermittent explosions and kleptomania are the most common indications of this mental illness. 

Neurodevelopmental disorders

This is a type of disorder that is thought to start at the very early age of development, the infant stage. Examples of such disorders include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, general behavioral disorders, and learning challenges.  

Neurocognitive mental illness

 In neurocognitive disorders, a person’s ability to reason and think is impaired. They can be caused by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or traumatic brain injury which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Brain stimulation treatments can help manage this kind of mental illness. 

Psychotic disorders

 These are mental illnesses that cause a detachment from the daily reality of life. Common symptoms include disorganized thinking, disorganized speech, hallucinations, and delusions.  

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

 Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of mental disorder that features behaviors of obsessions or preoccupations, repetitive thoughts, and actions. Examples may include actions such as hair-pulling. 

Personality disorders

This category of mental illness is made up of disorders that entail long-lasting periods of unhealthy emotional instability that cause equally long-term challenges in the victim’s relations and life in general.  Examples include narcissistic personality and antisocial personality disorder.  The treatment team for such disorders might include highly trained counselors. 

Bipolar disorder

 These are disorders that present changing levels of mania episodes. One goes through periods alternating between excessive or intense activity and periods of low activities/energy levels or severe depression. 

Paraphilic disorders

These are mental health challenges that feature harmful sexual interests. Common examples include pedophilic tendencies, voyeuristic disorders, and sadism.  

Elimination disorders

This type of mental illness is associated with the incorrect elimination between stool and urine either by intention or accident. Sleepwalking and bedwetting are common. Sleeping problems can be so severe as to require urgent medical attention especially when critical levels such as insomnia are reached. Sexual challenges such as orgasmic disorder, sexual dysfunction, and premature ejaculation among females and males respectively may also arise.  

Anxiety disorders

 Anxiety illness is often characterized by false anticipation of impending misfortunes or dangers, accompanied by excessive worries. The behavior of a person suffering from an anxiety disorder is such that the victim will be constantly behaving in a way aimed at avoiding the impending danger. Social phobia and panic disorder are common.  

Gender dysphoria

 This is a disorder that comes when a person who naturally belongs to one gender by birth is obsessed with desires to be a different gender. For example, if it is a man, he might be overwhelmed by the desire to become female.  

Dissociative disorders

 In this kind of disorder, the sense of self as a person is interfered with. It results in identity disorders as well as dissociative amnesia. 

Trauma disorders

 These are disorders that mostly come after a person has gone through a stressful period in their life. Examples include the loss of a loved one, intense breakups, or bad experiences such as rape which is an extremely traumatic event. Acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder are very common. 

Which Medicine For Mental Health Is Best?

Mental health care is a major component of health provision because mental health disorders exist in large numbers.  There are various mental health medications that are consistently available for treating mental health illnesses. Stimulant medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety, and mood-stabilizing medications are among the most common medicine for mental health illnesses. 

Let’s take a look at some of the medicine for mental health.  Bear in mind that most of these medications might have drug side effects. 

Antidepressant Medication

There are several medications available for depression treatment for cases such as major depression, including the following common ones:

Selective serotonin & norepinephrine inhibitors (SNRIs), including venlafaxine (Effexor), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine succinate (Pristiq), and desvenlafaxine (Khedezla) among others.  

Deplin (L-methylfolate) is great at tackling depression. This is particularly considered a neural food by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). It helps in the effective regulation of neurotransmitters which are critical in controlling moods. Deplin is the active version of folate, a vitamin B category. It requires a professional prescription though it is not considered a medication from a technical perspective. 

Anti-anxiety medications

Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental illness and there are common drugs that are used to treat the illness. They are used to treat anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder.  

Buspar or buspirone is a drug that belongs to the serotonergic type of drugs and has been found to be great at treating anxiety disorders. This drug does not result in habit formation, meaning a user will not get to a level where they form the habit of relying on it or feel like they can not do without it.  

Certain forms of anxiety can be managed by a treatment plan that contains drugs that have not been necessarily endorsed by the FDA. These types of drugs are commonly referred to as “off-label”  medication. Good examples include Lyrica or Neurontin.  

Antipsychotic Medication

Antipsychotic Medication is made up of a group of drugs that are used in the treatment of psychotic disorders. Psychotic disorders occur when normal thinking is interfered with in any way that it becomes irrational. A person starts to hallucinate i.e. having false perceptions or starts to get false beliefs i.e. delusions.  

Antipsychotic drugs are also often used to treat disorders related to moods such as bipolar disorders or bipolar depression. These drugs bear different side effects across different users and your doctor should be able to assess the extent of the side effects in order to advise change or termination of usage.  

What are the common side effects of antipsychotic medication?

Antipsychotic medications have a tendency to lead to challenges such as weight, changes in cholesterol, blood levels, blood pressure, or blood sugar which will necessitate medical monitoring. 

Most of the common side effects of antipsychotic medication can be quite mild though, and can actually clear within a  few weeks of usage.  Some side effects might disappear after long-term use as the body may adapt.  

Some of the side effects might include drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, the sensitivity of the skin to the sun, menstrual challenges in women, and dizziness. Serious side effects include tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements of face and tongue), drastic changes in a person’s daily tasks, and agranulocytosis (drastic reduction in white blood cell count). 

Psychotropic Medications

Psychotropic drugs are aimed at adjusting the quantity of certain key chemicals located in the brain of a human being. These chemicals also referred to as neurotransmitters, need a healthy balance for stable mental health. The drugs therefore increase or decrease these neurotransmitters as is necessary in order to treat mental illness.  

Neurotransmitters play the important role of carrying messages between different brain cells in the brain, enabling effective communication which allows the mind to operate optimally. If the brain has few, many, weak, or overly strong neurotransmitters, then the consequence is some level of mental illness as a result of undesirable chemical reactions.  

What are the best practices when using psychotropic medicine for mental health?

It is important to note though that Psychotropic medications are often most effective when used in combination with consistent psychotherapy. 

Some adjustment in behavior is required as a way to manage the side effects of psychotropic medications. Avoid substance use such as alcohol, smoking, and related drugs. Exercise caution whenever driving or using risky machinery and always be sure to complete your dose. Never stop usage suddenly unless this is due to severe side effects. 

Other mental illness medications include psychiatric medication, antipsychotic drugs, recreational drugs, bothersome drugs, etc. If you are using any drug for long-term treatment, then please consult your primary care provider on a regular basis. 


One important fact you need to understand about mental illness is that it affects so many people in the world. In fact, some observations have pointed out that most people will on average have one form of mental illness or the other. 

The severe stages of mental illness take time to develop and many people might not realize any problem with their mental well-being in the early stages. This is why it is advisable to make a point of carrying out frequent checks to determine the status of your mental health. Early diagnosis will help treat the condition with the right medicine for mental health and prevent the illness from developing to risky stages. 

Please feel free to share your experiences with medicine for mental health in the comments section and kindly share this post across social media for the benefit of your friends.