What Is Psychopharmacology?

The use of drugs to alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders makes psychoactive agents—especially antipsychotics and antidepressants—among the most widely prescribed pharmaceuticals today. Much debate surrounds the use of stimulants to treat attention-deficit problems and the side effects of antidepressants, especially for children. The general effectiveness of antidepressants when measured against a placebo remains controversial, although the treatments that prove most effective combine drugs with psychotherapy.

Recent posts on Psychopharmacology

Is Mental Illness the Rule Rather Than the Exception?

We hear all the time that 1 in 5 people struggle with a psychiatric disorder. New research now suggests that we have it backwards.

Do Low Cost Drugs Really Work in Treating Cancer?

By Lucy O'Donnell on March 17, 2017 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Why do we not know about the use of everyday low-cost drugs for the treatment of cancer? And what are these drugs? And how do you get them?

The Solution to the Opioid Crisis

By Stanton Peele on March 16, 2017 in Addiction in Society
We struggle in the night to remedy opioid addiction, and in our thrashing about simply double down on the same old assumptions and failed solutions. Here is the answer instead.

Long-Term Use of ADHD Medications May Suppress Adult Height

Extended long-term use of medications to treat ADHD is associated with suppression of adult height by age 25, according to a new longitudinal study.

Generation X Uses Mental Health Care Services Differently

Changes in the use of psychotropic medications during a 5 year interval varied among individuals in different generational cohorts.

Why the Clinical Use of Psychedelics May Heal Sexual Trauma

Recent research indicates that psychedelics can assist in healing sexual trauma by increasing the personality trait of openness to new experiences.

Yoga Helps Reduce Symptoms of Depression, Study Finds

Practicing yoga and yogic breathing a few times a week can reduce symptoms of major depressive disorder, according to new research.

When a Gene Test Could Help You Pick an Anti-Depressant

By Temma Ehrenfeld on March 02, 2017 in Open Gently
If you can afford it, save yourself months and get a gene test when you're depressed.

Can You Improve Adult ADHD Without Medications?

Do you have Adult ADHD? Are there non-medication treatments? Have you tried medications but experience too many side effects or only partial benefit?

Did I Quit Drugs to Die from Smoking?

People in recovery often turn to cigarettes to help them cope, raising their risk of health complications from nicotine addiction.
By kazan.vperemen.com (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

10 Patterns of Addictive Behavior

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in Science of Choice
The following list identifies several important behavioral patterns associated with addiction.

Jonezen Finds His Frequency

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Brick by Brick
The music of Christopher Richard Jones – better known as the Hip Hop artist Jonezen – has been connecting.

Drug Use And Creativity

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in In Excess
A recent systematic review of the psychological literature reviewed all studies that provided empirical data on the relationship between psychoactive substance use.

Treating Anxiety Without Using Prescription Medications

Are you struggling with anxiety and not getting relief from a medication? Natural supplements, mind-body approaches and other alternative therapies can make a difference.

Cutting Down on Drinking or Drugs the Natural Way

Is your drinking or drug use getting out of control? Natural supplements and other non-medication approaches can help.

National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

By Indra Cidambi, M.D. on February 16, 2017 in Sure Recovery
Why family-based recovery is important.

Are Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms Worth the Cure?

The lens of depression clouds your everyday view.
freestocks.org/pexels.com

Making Dangerous Drugs Legal

When you hear the word regulation, think protection. That's what the FDA does. Let's hope it can still do that job.

How Exercise Reduces Depression, Anxiety, Cynicism, & Anger

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on February 12, 2017 in Neuraptitude
Exercise may be on par with antidepressants and psychotherapy in the treatment of depression; it even benefits non-pathological mental states as well as reduces mortality.

Another Limitless Pill Hits the Market. Does It Deliver?

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on February 10, 2017 in The Fallible Mind
Drugs that modulate cognition work in those who truly need help. While not intended for healthy brains, some continue to rack up glowing testimonials—especially from journalists.

SHUTi: A New Insomnia Treatment Via the Internet

SHUTi, a promising new Internet-based therapy for treating insomnia, is offering hope to people who can't find or afford a therapist, and don't want to take medication.

Taking Melatonin but Still Can't Sleep?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Understanding the role of melatonin in sleep helps explain its limited usefulness in relieving insomnia.

Telomere Length and Depression

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on February 05, 2017 in Inner Source
What can old shoelaces teach us about genetics and staving off depression?

7 Truths If Someone You Love Is Addicted

Addiction can be overwhelming, especially to those on the outside looking in. Knowing what you’re dealing with helps.

VA Says 68,000 Vets Addicted to Opioid Painkillers

By Eric Newhouse on January 23, 2017 in Invisible Wounds
Opioid painkillers are addictive, but the VA has been prescribing them to about a half million vets—and treating nearly 70,000 of them for addiction to their meds.

Post-Traumatic Stress: Emerging Treatment Strategies

Are you struggling with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? If medications aren't helping, complementary and alternative treatments can help you feel and function better.

Anxiety Treatment: Should You Be Wary of Anxiety Medication?

Feeling anxious? There's lots of ways to ease the jitters, but be wary of some of them!

Opioid Abuse May Be Fueling a Heroin Epidemic

By Eric Newhouse on January 19, 2017 in Invisible Wounds
Prescriptions for painkillers like OxyContin have soared in recent years, then dropped way back. Some who became addicted to opioids are now believed to be turning to heroin.

Excitation and Inhibition: The Yin and Yang of the Brain

Understanding the balance between neural excitation and inhibition could be key to understanding many brain disorders.
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Why the Mind Is More Than the Brain

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on January 18, 2017 in Out of the Darkness
The brain and the mind exist in a symbiotic relationship in which they both affect each other, but in which neither is entirely the other.