Medication for Adults

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The four main categories of medications prescribed for adults:
  • Antipsychotic
  • Antidepressant
  • Antianxiety
  • Antimanic

Antipsychotic

  • For a person who is out of touch with reality
  • Hear voices or have strange or illogical ideas
  • May get excited or angry for no apparent reason
  • May spend a lot of time by themselves, or in bed
  • May sleep during the day and stay awake at night
  • May neglect appearance, not bathing or changing clothes
  • May be hard to talk to, barely talking, or making no sense
  • They are often unaware that their condition is an illness

Antidepressant
  • Major depression is the type of depression that will most likely benefit from treatment with medications
  • Major depression is more than just "the blues."
  • The condition lasts 2 weeks or more, and interferes with a person's ability to carry on daily tasks and enjoy activities that previously brought pleasure.
  • Major depression is associated with abnormal functioning of the brain.
  • An interaction between genetic tendency and life history appears to determine a person's chance of becoming depressed.
  • Episodes of depression may be triggered by stress, difficult life events, side effects of medications, or medication/substance withdrawal, or even viral infections that can affect the brain.
  • Depressed people will seem sad, or "down," or may be unable to enjoy normal activities.
  • They may have no appetite and lose weight (although some people eat more and gain more weight when depressed).
  • They may sleep too much or too little, have difficulty going to sleep, sleep restlessly, or awaken very early in the morning.
  • They may speak of feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless
  • They may lack energy or be jumpy and agitated.
  • They may think about killing themselves, or may even attempt suicide.
  • Some depressed people have delusions (false, fixed ideas) about poverty, sickness, or sinfulness that are related to their depression.
  • Sometimes feelings of depression are worse at a particular time of day, for instance, every morning or evening.
  • Not everyone who is depressed has all these symptoms.

  • Antianxiety

  • Symptoms include irritability, uneasiness, jumpiness, feelings of apprehension, rapid or irregular heartbeat, stomachache, nausea, faintness, and breathing problems.
  • Mild anxiety is often manageable, but sometimes it can present serious problems
  • A high level or prolonged state of anxiety can make the activities of daily life difficult, if not impossible
  • People may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or more specific anxiety disorders such as panic, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Both antidepressants and antianxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders
  • The broad-spectrum activity of most antidepressants provides effectiveness in anxiety disorders as well as depression
  • Some anxiety medications, the benzodiazepines, can relieve anxiety symptoms in a short time.
Antimanic
  • Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes:  severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).
  • Episodes may be predominately manic or depressive, with normal mood between episodes.
  • Mood swings may follow each other very closely, within days (rapid cycling), or may be separated by months to years
  • "Highs" and "Lows" may vary in intensity and severity and can co-exist in "mixed" episodes
  • When people are in a manic "high," they may be overactive, overly talkative, have a great deal of energy, and have much less need for sleep than normal
  • When "manic" they may switch quickly from one topic to another, as if they cannot get their thoughts out quickly enough.
  • Their attention span is often short, and they can be easily distracted.
  • Sometimes people who are "high" are irritable or angry and have false or inflated ideas about their position or importance in the world.
  • They may be very elated and be full of grand schemes that might range form business deals to romantic sprees.
  • Often they show poor judgment in these ventures.
  • If left untreated, mania may worsen into a psychotic state.