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

Does Gender Matter When It Comes to Addiction Recovery?

By Indra Cidambi, M.D. on September 29, 2016 in Sure Recovery
Does gender matter when it comes to addiction treatment? Focusing on women's treatment needs help speed up recovery.

Protesting Against Big Pharma Is One Thing

The new drugs, on the whole, have been a blessing, and it is unnerving to see the whole psychopharmacological enterprise now trashed in an indiscriminate manner.
gratisography.com/pexels.com

You Must Use Drugs!

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 24, 2016 in The Power of Rest
These days, health insurance companies are pushing the use of drugs.

Why Doctors See Antidepressant Effects That Researchers Miss

By Peter D Kramer on September 22, 2016 in In Practice
Trust drug trials and mistrust clinical observation? Sometimes doctors know best—while researchers are blind to factors that help depressed patients recover.

Biased Publication Standards Hinder Schizophrenia Research

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Talking About Trauma
Since most research that exists on treatment of schizophrenia is directly funded by pharmaceutical companies, a bias exists towards silencing unfavourable research.

A Simple Way to Keep Your Kids Off Drugs

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 21, 2016 in Open Gently
Better sleep for pre-teens is tied to less drinking and pot smoking through their 20s.
David Mao/unsplash.com/pexels.com

Simple Ways to Improve Sleep

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 17, 2016 in Getting Healthy Now
Lots of people can't sleep. What can they do?
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The Strange Link Between Attitudes Towards Sex and Drugs

According to evolutionary theories, people's attitudes to recreational drug use may be influenced by their preferred mating strategies.
ID 39899517 © Konstantin Yuganov | Dreamstime.com

Understanding and Choosing Better Coping Skills

When it comes to better understanding and treating addiction, we can learn a lot by looking at a person’s coping mechanisms.
ID 56063305 © Sergey Khakimullin | Dreamstime.com

Here’s Why Your Brain Makes Quitting Drugs/Alcohol So Hard

By Richard Taite on September 16, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
There’s little more tempting than a quick and easy solution to our problems.

How Scientists, Too, Can Be Stubborn and Wrong

Ever been troubled by a reversal in scientific opinion? Psychological biases may be part of the problem.

Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight After Antidepressants?

You needed the help of medication. You gained weight. You don't need the medication anymore, so why are you still chubby?

What Is Psychosis, Really?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 14, 2016 in Open Gently
Twenty four hours without sleep can induce psychotic symptoms. So can alcohol and street-drug withdrawal.

Does ADHD Exist?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Media Spotlight
While research studies aimed at identifying the neurological roots of ADHD continue to be published, at least one critic is suggesting that ADHD is a myth.

Condoms in Porn: A Solution in Search of a Problem

By David J Ley Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Women Who Stray
A proposed law in California intends to require condom use in porn. But do such restrictions have an impact on the safety of performers or viewers?
freeimages.com/Steve Knight

Feeding Your Addiction

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Food Junkie
While it’s easy to list differences between foods and drugs our brains can have a very hard time differentiating between the pleasure derived from mild doses of some drugs.

You May Not Need Those Painkillers

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 06, 2016 in Open Gently
The brain can be retrained not to perceive pain.

Black Wave: Alcoholism, Creativity, and Today’s Truth

By Ariel Gore on September 05, 2016 in Women and Happiness
"The similarities between being a writer and an alcoholic far outweigh the differences. They both seem to spring from what may be a glitch in my neurochemistry." —Michelle Tea

Equine Tourette’s Syndrome

By Nicholas Dodman on September 04, 2016 in Dog Days
Can horses have Tourette's Sydrome? This author belives they can.

The Effects of Performance Enhancing Drugs on Men, Part 1

By Paul Joannides Psy.D. on September 01, 2016 in As You Like It
It doesn't matter if he's a high school athlete or an MME Champion who just won a $2.5 million purse, PEDs can permanently impact fertility and sex drive.

Protection From Reaction to Medication

Have you had bad experiences with medications you have taken or been administered? Knowing your history of medications can help to prevent this.

Neuroscience Suggests That We're All "Wired" for Addiction

By Christopher Bergland on August 26, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
New research suggests that everybody has the neurobiological potential to become an addict.

The New Science of Animal Psychiatry

Nicolas Dodman takes us into a world of dogs with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, horses with OCD, and cats who attack their owners for no apparent reason.

ADHD and Michael Phelps: Medication Is Not a Crutch

Not taking stimulant medication for your diagnosed ADHD? You still have ADHD.

On a Cup of Coffee

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 13, 2016 in How To Do Life
Gratitude as an anti-sadness "medication."

How Medication Can Help Prevent Opioid Relapse

One lapse can be deadly when trying to overcome an addiction to drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers, but medication-assisted treatment can help counter that risk.

3 Ways Aerobic Exercise Improves Schizophrenia Symptoms

By Christopher Bergland on August 12, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking report, published this morning, identifies three specific ways that aerobic exercise improves cognitive functioning in people with schizophrenia.

Most Problem Drinkers Learn to Change Their Drinking

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in All About Addiction
You've heard it before: "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." The idea that "addiction" is an inescapable condition is pervasive and wrong. And there's data proving it.

What We Can Learn From Michael Phelps About ADHD

He is the most decorated Olympian athlete of all time. But the road to Rio wasn't an easy path for Phelps or for his parents.