The Role of Medication in Psychiatric Treatment

McKinney Psychotic Disorders is a mental health center that provides psychiatric treatment to individuals with mental illnesses. They offer a variety of treatment options including therapy and medication. In this article, we will discuss the role of medication in psychiatric treatment.

What are Psychiatric Medications?

Psychiatric medications are drugs used to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others. These medications work by altering the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that affect mood and behavior.

How do Psychiatric Medications Work?

Psychiatric medications work by targeting specific neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons. Certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are known to affect mood, behavior, and emotions.

For example, antidepressants work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. By increasing the levels of serotonin, antidepressants can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with reward, pleasure, and motivation. In individuals with schizophrenia, dopamine levels are often higher than normal, which can cause hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms. By blocking dopamine receptors, antipsychotics can help alleviate these symptoms.

Types of Psychiatric Medications

There are several types of psychiatric medications, each with its own set of benefits and side effects. Some of the most common types of psychiatric medications include:

  • Antidepressants – used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  • Antipsychotics – used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
  • Mood stabilizers – used to treat bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.
  • Anxiolytics – used to treat anxiety disorders.
  • Stimulants – used to treat ADHD and other attention disorders.

Benefits of Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric medications can provide numerous benefits to individuals with mental illnesses. Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduced symptoms – Psychiatric medications can help alleviate symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Improved quality of life – By reducing symptoms, individuals with mental illnesses can improve their quality of life and function better in their daily lives.
  • Prevention of relapse – Psychiatric medications can help prevent relapse of mental illnesses by maintaining stable levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Side Effects of Psychiatric Medications

Like all medications, psychiatric medications can have side effects. Some of the most common side effects of psychiatric medications include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Tremors
  • Increased risk of suicide in some individuals

It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of psychiatric medications with your doctor before starting any treatment.


Psychiatric medications can be a valuable tool in the treatment of mental illnesses. They work by altering the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. However, like all medications, they can have side effects and should be used under the guidance of a medical professional.