New’s spreads so fast in the 21st century. With everyone connected on social media and constantly sharing their every thought, it’s easy for the wrong news to spread about any topic; including the way medicine affects mental illness. This is not the type of information you want to get from what people say, so here we’ll break down the facts.
Opposed to popular belief medication has positive impacts for people with mental illnesses. Let’s take epilepsy, which is a neurological disorder that causes seizures or unusual sensations and behaviors usually due to high brain activity, as an example. Medication is necessary to calm down the brain activity in order to reduce, if not stop, the side effects of epilepsy. The same thing can be said for kids with ADHD, a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyper-activity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Medications, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a combination medicine used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Why do people say that medicine for mental illnesses is bad? Parents tend to deny the need for medicine. The belief that it dumbs down and makes their kids sleepy is a misconception. Medicine tends to level your kids’ brain activity, so if your child’s’ brain activity is abnormally high, medicine will level it to be what’s ‘normal’. Of course, the prescriptions need to come from a neurologist, or a specialist, who will determine which medicine is necessary. Medicine is commonly used, alongside therapy, for kids with conditions such as ADHD or Autism. In those cases, the medicine helps the child’s treatment and can be necessary in order for your child to reach ‘independence’ and enjoy a good quality of life.
A trending topic is the use of weed to treat different mental conditions and pain. There is a current debate outlining the benefits of weed/marijuana/CBD in the field of medicine. The drug has proven to be incredibly beneficial to people with conditions such as Parkinsons and ALS. In one study, published in 2014 Trusted Source, 22 participants with Parkinson’s’ Disease saw improvement in sleep, tremors, and pain within 30 minutes of smoking marijuana. In another study, published in 2010 Trusted Source, researchers found that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids are active compounds in marijuana. These may help reduce symptoms in a variety of related diseases.
Although results are inconclusive for the use of weed, we can see that there are efforts to find medical solutions to mental and health issues in order to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from mental health conditions. Even though the common belief is that those medicines are bad and have horrible side effects, the reality is that every medicine comes with potential side effects. Emphasis on potential, since most of the time the side effects are never triggered and when a doctor prescribes a medicine they are aware of the potential risks. At the end of the day, their benefits outweigh the potential risk for side effects.