Medications for Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues come in many different forms and are caused by a variety of factors. God created us as biological, emotional, social, and spiritual beings. When considering an individual’s needs and treatment, each of these four areas need to be evaluated. At times, medication may be an important part of an individual’s overall treatment. For example, just as a person with diabetes may need to take insulin to regulate their blood sugar, an individual with bipolar disorder may need a mood stabilizer to prevent them from having manic and depressive episodes. Taking a medication does not mean that an individual doesn’t need to address issues in other areas of his or her life.

Sometimes medications can be taken for only a brief period to address short-term symptoms, while other times the medications will need to be taken longer term. These are decisions that must be made by each individual along with their healthcare practitioner. Each person’s genetics, metabolism, body type, general health, and illnesses, are different. Therefore, it isn’t possible to compare one person’s experience with a medication to another person’s experience. For example, one person may take an antidepressant and find that it gave them a side effect of feeling sleepy whereas the next person may find that that same antidepressant not only didn’t give them that side effect, but that it effectively treated their depression and gave them their life back. Christians sometimes feel like failures or inferior for needing to use a medication to help them overcome a particular struggle. However, individuals do not need to feel shame for appropriately taking a medication to help in the treatment or management of a mental health condition. We recognize God is the one who ultimately provides the healing.

For Further Information:

What to Expect from Psychiatry
This resource describes why someone might go to a psychiatrist, how psychiatrists approach helping people, and ways to develop good communication and a working relationship between a psychiatrist and patient. [ACCFS]

Psychiatry Part 1: The Science of the Brain Podcast Episode
When it comes to human organs, the brain is arguably the most precious. Thinking, feeling, and behaving find their genesis in the brain. How has God created our brains to function? In this episode, Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Plattner helps us understand this brilliant creation. He sheds much needed light on the intersection of faith and psychiatry.

Psychiatry Part 2: Brain Change Podcast Episode  
Our brains are plastic – moldable, changeable. In this episode Dr. Aaron Plattner connects the dots between our thoughts and our actions. He explains how thinking patterns can be changed for the better. This is very good news and ups the ante for our thought life.

Drug and Supplement Lookup:

Mayo Clinic Drug and Supplement Information Database
Look up information about the uses and interactions of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as for herbs, supplements, and vitamins.

MedlinePlus Drugs, Herbs, and Supplements Information
Look up information about the uses and interactions of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as for herbs, supplements, and vitamins.

Prescription Assistance:

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
This website, a free service of the major pharmaceutical companies, is for individuals who need help paying for prescription medications. Each drug manufacturer has its own criteria for eligibility based on family income, family size, and availability of health insurance (i.e., lack of insurance or underinsured). For those who qualify, prescription medications can be obtained free or at significantly reduced prices.