Managing the Side Effects of Your Medications

If you’re taking medication for depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, it’s important to know what their side effects are.


Sometimes, side effects are not easy to manage. Certain medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, increased heartbeat, sensitivity, skin rashes, and menstrual problems for women. There’s also weight gain, changes in metabolism, and even a higher risk of getting diabetes. Depending upon the medication you take, you might also experience tremors and a feeling of restlessness.


What can make matters worse is if you have to go into a teen psychiatric hospital even after you’ve been taking medications. It’s common to leave the hospital with a whole new set of medications that you need to get used to, not to mention having to get used to the side effects of those new medications.


Also, even though a medication might have a warning sign of causing certain side effects, different people respond differently to different medications. It’s incredibly important to be as communicative with your psychiatrist as you can. Share with him or her how you feel. Let the psychiatrist know what your daily routine is, what time you take medication, and the side effects you’re feeling. Be sure to continue to talk to your parents too. They are likely going to be your biggest advocates. If needed, your parents can help communicate to your psychiatrist the needs you have.


It’s incredibly important to know that doctors don’t have prescribing medications down to a science. They rely on your input in order to know whether to make an adjustment. They rely on what you share about your experiences with them in order to decide whether to increase, decrease, or maintain your current dose. A psychiatrist can work with their patients to adjust medication dosages in order to find the right amount and combination of drugs that are the most efficient and bring the least interruption to one’s life.


Sometimes, depending upon your side effects, you might have to take another drug to counter the side effect you’re feeling. For instance, some medication can actually cause anxiety. And if that’s the case, then a psychiatrist might prescribe another medication to lessen the anxiety. As you can imagine, having a positive and pleasant relationship with your psychiatrist can make a difference. When you trust that person you’re more likely to follow his or her suggestions. You’re more likely to have faith in the change of medications that your doctor might make. The best way to manage your medication side effects is to stay in constant communication with your doctor.


Furthermore, part of recovery from a mental illness is coming to terms with your diagnosis. When you finally accept your diagnosis and the fact that you might have a mental illness and/or an addiction, you can focus on other areas of your life. For example, once your doctor figures out the best medication for you, you can move on with your life and not make your mental illness the center of his existence.