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

Long-Term Effects of Antipsychotics

Data support the long-term use of antipsychotics in persons with schizophrenia. However, less is known about the efficacy of long-term use for other conditions.

Adult-Onset ADHD Is Usually Something Else

By David Rettew M.D. on November 15, 2017 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Doctors are seeing increasing numbers of people presenting with what looks like adult onset ADHD. A recent study, however, finds that ADHD is rarely the cause.

The Hypocrisy of Antipsychiatry

By on November 09, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
Coercive psychiatry and antipsychiatry are two sides of the same coin.

Empowering Your Anxious Tween

Anxiety is a beast that can be contained, if not completely slain.

Guns, Drugs and Mental Health: Crises Everywhere

Life is hard and cries abound. What if each of us chose to become a better person?

Seven Practical Tips for Coping with Physical Pain

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on November 04, 2017 in In Practice
Psychological skills and principles for dealing with pain.

Medicating Women's Sexual Desire Still Highly Controversial

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on November 02, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Research reveals that sexual desire is influenced by non-biological factors.

Somatic Psychiatry in the Spotlight

Somatic psychiatry has taken over psychiatry. The fundamental and incorrect premise of somatic psychiatry is that the source of psychiatric problems come from defects in the brain.

Paying With Pounds for Relief of Depression

As the holiday season approaches, some may begin antidepressant therapy. Weight gain may be an unpleasant surprise side effect.

Tranquilizing Humanity into Oblivion

By on November 01, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
Modern psychiatry would be wise to heed the warning of Nathan S. Kline, the pioneering psychopharmacologist.

A Five-Step Approach to the Opioid Epidemic, Part 2 of 2

By Dan Mager MSW on October 31, 2017 in Some Assembly Required
Make no mistake: there is no magic bullets and no quick fixes to this crisis. However, there are several critical steps that can help us make meaningful progress toward solutions.

Harlem Success Academy and Substance Abuse Treatment

Graphical illustration of why controversies in policy involve people talking about phenomena on two sides of a phase transition.

Causal Networks of the Brain in Depression

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on October 30, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Advances in computational techniques move neuroscience forward by mapping out causality within functional brain networks.

Performance Enhancing Drugs in Everyday Life

By Saul Levine M.D. on October 25, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
We criticize athletes who use PEDs, but many people everywhere "self-medicate" to help them study, perform, sleep, have sex, stay awake, and lose weight, among other pursuits.

ADHD Is Now Widely Overdiagnosed and for Multiple Reasons

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on October 20, 2017 in Side Effects
In the U.S. and other developed countries, there are now clear signs that child and adolescent mental disorders are overdiagnosed.
Courtesy of Pixabay/ quintheislander

Change How You Define Yourself and Change Your Life

By Jeff Corbin, MD MPH on October 20, 2017 in Rethinking Normal
Develop the life you want, despite your illness.

Propaganda that Masqueraded as Pharmaceutical Marketing

Looking back on the evolution of the current opioid epidemic, the marketing of opioids looks like profitable propaganda.

Spirit Molecules: Allies for Healing from Trauma

Spirit molecules: Allies for healing from Trauma.

Should Other Doctors Have Access to Your Psychiatry Note?

Should other doctors have access to your psychiatry note on the Electronic Health Record? It may improve physical wellness but your psychiatrist will have to adapt too.

The Great Paradox of Psychiatry

By on October 07, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
If the treatments for mental illness are better than ever, why is there more mental illness today than ever before? Herein lies the great paradox of psychiatry.

Do Children Really Need Psychiatric Medication?

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on October 06, 2017 in Suffer the Children
Mental illness can be fatal. But in some cases, so can psychiatric medications.

When Your Child Needs Psychiatric Medication

It is important to understand the real issues related to children and psychiatric medications.

Anxiety Springs Eternal

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 05, 2017 in The Human Beast
Anxiety is the unsolvable problem that gives rise to many others, from addiction and suicide to depression, obesity, and economic failure.

What Causes Brain Zaps?

Brain zaps can be an unbearable side-effect of discontinuing an antidepressant. Although these brain shocks are often described as harmless, they may in fact be minor seizures.

Today the Disease Theory Is Argued in Court

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on October 02, 2017 in Addiction in Society
The Massachusetts Supreme Court commences today deciding whether addiction is a disease that removes the capacity to choose. What would be its implications for decriminalization?

Low-Carbohydrate Diet Superior to Antipsychotic Medications

By Georgia Ede MD on September 29, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
People suffering with psychosis should know that there are truly hopeful options that go beyond medication.

Thank You, Child Welfare First Responders!

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 28, 2017 in Kids Being Kids
In child welfare, every day is similar to experiencing a hurricane. For the dedicated workforce serving our nation’s most vulnerable... this one's for you!

On the Myth of the Chemical Imbalance

By on September 28, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
Why do so many people believe in the chemical imbalance theory?

The Power of Wake

By David Hellerstein M.D. on September 22, 2017 in Heal Your Brain
College students commonly "get high and pull all-nighters." Can researchers study college students gone wild to treat depression and other disorders?
Rawpixel/Shutterstock

The True Self

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
What does it mean to believe that there is a "true self" inside of everyone?