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Psychotropic Medication

The term psychotropic medication refers to psychiatric drugs taken by those suffering from mental health problems. These drugs deal with the symptoms of mental disorders but do not provide a cure. Some mental disorders that can be managed with psychotropic medications are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These drugs may need to be taken for only a short time or forever.

Psychotropic medication can be divided into four broad categories. The first is antipsychotic drugs. These medications deal with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Drugs like Thorazine and Haldol are designed to bring back a sense of reality.

The second category is anti-manic drugs. These medications treat mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. Drugs like lithium mitigate the highs and lows that categorize bipolar disorder. Patients suffering from this disorder will also often take anticonvulsants such as Depakote.

The third category is antidepressant drugs. These medications treat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Prozac and Paxil are examples of antidepressant medications.

The fourth broad category is anti-anxiety medication. These drugs treat disorders such as anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias. Drugs such as Xanax and Valium calm and relax those taking them. Patients suffering from these disorders may also be prescribed antidepressants.