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A Primer of Drug Action: A Concise Nontechnical Guide to the Actions, Uses, and Side Effects of Psychoactive Drugs, Revised and Updated

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2003

    A Patient's Guide to Understanding their Medications, their Doctor and Themselves.

    Having a mental illness is frustrating enough, but when you fail to understand your medications, their mechanisms of action (and reaction), it can be very frightening and even dangerous. Even the best psychiatrist cannot explain your medication, thoroughly, in a 20-minute session, most of which is spent chatting, so that the doctor may make objective observations and form conclusions. The void between knowing a drug's stated purpose and your subjective response, inhibits compliance and can even be harmful, when ignorance of potential interactions enter the picture. Dr. Julien, presents a comprehensive overview of a wide range of psychoactive agents, that even non-medical persons can understand. This knowlege can promote a greater trust, better compliance and communication between you and your doctor. Awareness of your treatment options, enables you to negotiate with your psychiatrist, should the current treatment be failing to achieve it's goal, or producing excessive distress, from negative side effects. Subtances of abuse are discussed, as well. Understanding the negative impact of these drugs can help the 'dual-diagnosis' patient to cooperate with the treatment plan. This primer has helped me to successfully improve my conditon, Bipolar I (mixed), by enabling me to understand what my doctor is doing, what I am experiencing and how to give him concise feedback on my progress and complaints. I feel like I am a part of my treatment's direction and can understand why certain drugs help, while others may not. While some doctor's may resent their patient's knowlege of what's going on, the finest doctors encourage you to investigate your illness. I believe that this investigative process, must include your treatment plan, as well. This book has helped me and many others, with mental disorders to become proactive partners, working with our doctors and not against them, or ourselves.

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