When you're feeling overwhelmed or confused, it's understandable that you might want to let others make medication decisions for you. But it's becoming clearer to researchers, providers and mental health consumers themselves that being actively involved in your treatment can make a real difference in your recovery. Talking honestly with your doctor is a big part of that process. If you discuss your concerns and learn about your options, you are much more likely to come up with a plan that works well for you and for the life you want to create.
Second-generation antipsychotics aren’t necessarily better than first-generation, but they do have different side effects. First-generation antipsychotics are more likely to cause movement disorders like tardive dyskinesia —an uncomfortable condition in which the brain misfires and causes random, uncontrollable muscle movements or tics. Second-generation antipsychotics are more likely to result in weight gain, which can lead to health complications such as metabolic syndrome. Work with your provider to find the best medication for you.
“Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects... Many parents who take their children off the drugs find that behavior worsens, which most likely confirms their belief that the drugs work. But the behavior worsens because the children's bodies have become adapted [because the drugs are habit-forming] to the drug. Adults may have similar reactions if they suddenly cut back on coffee, or stop smoking.”