Chances are, if you have ever sought medical help for a psychological condition, one of the suggested remedies has been prescription medication. 1 in 6 Americans are now on a psychiatric medication and the number of children diagnosed with ADHD and depression increases each year. The list of mental disorders has increased in recent years, and it seems to be increasingly common for people to talk of anxiety or depression. This might mean we are getting better at diagnosing mental health issues, that they are becoming more common, or we are simply becoming more vocal about our personal issues. My hope is that someday all the mental health labels disappear and alternatives are tried before turning to prescriptions.
Know Your Meds
The most common psychiatric medications affect the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The current medical theory is that depression is caused by reduced levels of these neurotransmitters. Conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia show a combination of high levels of dopamine and low levels of serotonin. Each medication increases or decreases each of the levels of neurotransmitters in your body by different amounts. Medications do not cure mental health issues, they only treat symptoms. Newer medications have fewer negative side effects than they used to, but they can still cause fatigue, weight gain, inability to focus and other issues.
Fortunately, there are many ways to adjust your neurotransmitter and hormone levels naturally. Diet and supplements are a great way to get started, along with mindfulness practices and exercise. Read some specific suggestions in the following articles.