Ours is a heavily medicated generation. Does your heart hurt? There’s a pill for that. Dizzy? There’s a pill for that too. Sad? Guess what: there’s a pill for that also.
Of course, modern medicine has radically improved our lives—consider what surgery was like before morphine!—but, at the same time, we as a society have become overly dependent on medication and less open to alternative healing methods. We’ve also come to focus on symptoms rather than their deeply rooted causes.
Psychiatry and psychotropic medications have come a long way in the last 50 years, increasing the range and effectiveness of treatment options for people struggling with mental illness and quite literally saving millions of lives. But psychotropic medications don’t work well for everyone, and treating mental illness with psychotropic medications alone often isn’t as effective as treating mental illness with a combination of medication, therapy, and alternative treatment options—including psychedelics and ketamine.
Table of Contents
The 5 Main Types of Psychotropic Medications
Today, there are five types of psychotropic medications:
- Antianxiety medications
- Mood stabilizers
Antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRS), are prescribed mainly to treat depression and anxiety.
Antianxiety medications, like beta-blockers and benzodiazepines, are used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Antipsychotics are mainly used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mood stabilizers are often used to treat bipolar disorder.
Stimulants are chiefly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Newer Mental Health Medications
There is a new class of drugs that is gaining popularity among psychiatrists and might become the 6th type of psychotropic medication in the future. This class of medications includes psychedelics—namely lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (mushrooms), and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)—and ketamine.
Not enough research has been conducted to draw any firm conclusions about the effectiveness of these drugs in treating mental health issues and illnesses, but much of the research indicates that, when taken responsibility and under the right conditions, these drugs can substantially help people suffering from anything from panic attacks to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse to depression.
For instance, MDMA, which decreases inhibition, can help people with PTSD speak more openly during therapy about traumatic experiences. Psilocybin, which you can ingest in the form of “shroom tea” or highest rated shroom chocolates, can improve mood, rewire negative and obsessive thought patterns, and ease anxiety. And ketamine can almost immediately relieve symptoms of depression, unlike antidepressants, which typically take weeks to kick in.
The Legal Status of Psychedelics and Ketamine
Due largely to their reputation as being recreational drugs that people abuse, psychedelics and ketamine are only administered to patients during clinical trials. Because these trials are showing consistently positive results, however, the legal status of these drugs may change in the near future.
For instance, research shows that psychedelics, combined with psychological support (such as therapy), can rapidly help ease symptoms of treatment-resistant depression.
Psychedelics and ketamine may be the mental health medications of the future.