I took once a quick reading class and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It’s in Russian.
— Woody Allen.
Many of our clients were already on psychotropic medications before coming to my practice or started them for the first time after an initial consultation. Most of these individuals are prescribed antidepressants, anxiolytics, stimulants or sleeping pills, to accompany them on the path to recovery. But should we rely upon or be wary of them? Are they efficacious?
The discovery of psychotropic medications has been a great progress in the past 60 years. In the case of psychiatric disorders, they have helped limit hospitalization time and improve morbidity and psychological and emotional suffering. In mild diseases such as low-grade anxiety and depression, they have helped reduce the extent of self-medication with alcohol or illegal drugs, and get individuals to stand more quickly on their feet. Psychotropic medications open up a window of heightened plasticity that allows psychotherapy to have a more pronounced effect. For this reason, I usually prescribe medications when indicated to new individuals for a period of one year and start to wean them off after this time interval, once the individual has achieved a certain level of emotional balance.
During psychopharmacology visits, we will monitor the efficacy of medications the individual is currently placed on, inquire about potential side effects, and at times use Computerized Cognitive testing to validate that interventions such as medication, psychotherapy and other treatments are having the desired effects.
Therapy and medications that treat mental health conditions may help recover cognitive function as well—that is why Klein-Kraepelin Group measures cognition to validate symptoms, plan treatments, and measure key outcomes that affect quality of life.