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Frequently Asked Questions - Treatment Of Psychiatric Disorders
FAQs - Treatment Of Psychiatric Disorders


When a cluster of symptoms leads to a decline in work & social functioning, medications play an important role in treatment. These complaints are neither imaginary, nor fabricated, and hence cannot be wished away. In spite of severe emotional turmoil a person can maintain composure or appear normal physically, and hence often does not receive any sympathy. When he / she complains, common sense advice is given which can be damaging (eg. “Think positive”, “Don’t take tension”, “Make your mind strong”, etc.).

Some medical intervention as decided by the Psychiatrist becomes necessary for symptom relief.

Some problems like interpersonal conflicts, stress at workplace, marital disharmony, parenting attitudes, etc. can be helped with counselling.Counselling off late has become a hype and hence one should ensure that it is done by a qualified professional.


Medication is essential part of treatment of many psychiatric disorders. Medications restore the balance of chemicals present in the brain and help to achieve normalcy (eg. Antidiabetic medications help control sugar levels in Diabetes Mellitus). These are symptoms beyond the control of the patient and hence medication gets priority.

Many techniques mentioned above, especially Yoga & exercise promote health in general for all, and are more of healthy life style patterns. These are not treatments for specific problems. Medications & psychotherapy of different types are needed for specific illnesses.

Probably, last time she was suffering from acute but minor episode of psychological ill health but it may not be of the same intensity this time. In fact, research shows that with each new episode, the illness may aggravate in severity and duration.

It varies for each psychiatric disorder. It should be continued under strict supervision and guidance of a qualified Psychiatrist. Any problem in continuation of medication should be discussed with the Psychiatrist as she will offer you a solution to your problem. Medications should not be altered or stopped on your own.

Each group of medication has few peculiar side effects and some side effects pertain to an individual drug. It is best to discuss this with your psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will inform you about important side effects at the time of starting medications.

All medications do not necessarily cause sleepiness. Most of the newer medicines are designed to adapt to the active lifestyle of the patient by minimally interfering with day-to-day activities. Few patients may experience sedation in the beginning, but that effect wears out soon. In case, you still find it a problem, please discuss it with your psychiatrist.

‘Sleeping pills’ is a loose term and a misnomer for psychiatric medicines used by chemists and patients. The purpose of medication is not necessarily to induce sleep, but to correct the underlying chemical imbalance.

Psychiatry medicines are like any other group of medicines (eg. medicines for heart or stomach). Any treatment which offers significant relief is acceptable even if minor temporary side effects occur. The same is true for psychiatric medicines if you look at harm:benefit ratio. Psychiatric medicines are just one of the scapegoats for the stigma associated with Psychiatry in general. Medicines, when taken under supervision, do not affect the kidneys, the liver or heart, as is believed. Discuss with your doctor if any periodic monitoring is needed for the drugs you are on.


This is a myth propagated all the time without any basis. Many people have taken them life long, for 30 – 40 years without any adverse consequence to their brain. These medicines are marketed after years of research and study. Like any other treatment, medicines should be taken under proper supervision for the best outcome. Similarly, there are medicines designed specially for children to help with their problems.

One can always choose alternative therapies according to one’s preference and faith, but not on the basis of advertisement and hearsay. No treatment is free from side effects, efficacy is equally important. Once diagnosed, no delay is justified in controlling conditions like Depression, Mania and Schizophrenia; and hence, speed of recovery is equally important.

You need to inform doctors of either specialty about your decision to switch. Do not continue allopathic medication without supervision by the Psychiatrist.