There is often resistance against psychotherapeutic medications. The reason for this problem is the bad cultural cliches and unrealistic, exaggerated concerns about the side effects. Throughout this article, we address these issues and answer the most frequent questions on this subject, so we understand why sometimes these medications are not only helpful but vital and why we need to overcome the residence towards them.
1. Why do we need medications?
a. Your problem has solid physiological and biological roots.
In such cases (most often inherited by genetics), natural causes such as mental or hormonal malfunctions can easily influence our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It is not only the case in more severe problems such as schizophrenia. Even in mild depression or OCD, the natural causes show themselves as reasons. Therefore, medications help the body so that the hormonal and mental functions are modified in aspects such as happiness, satisfaction, stable mood, and keeping in touch with reality. In these cases, medical therapy is prescribed parallel to the behavioural and conversation sessions to solve the problem from different points of view.
b. Your mental problem harms your body or involves you in troublesome physical symptoms.
It is not that only physical circumstances can influence our mind, but the link between body and mind is a tangled-up and two-way road. Mental settings can also affect our bodies. There are cases where the psychological problem did not occur due to a robust physical reason. It involved intense experiences or stressful situations for which you were not ready. Therefore, both your body and your mind got under pressure. This problem ends in a problematic loop between body and mind. The medications can break this loop or help it slow down. In addition, sometimes the physiological symptoms of a damaged mental situation are too strong, which makes you exhausted, like when you cannot keep yourself awake and conscious due to the severity of depression.
c. Medications can increase the effect of other types of treatments.
Sometimes, you are in such problematic circumstances that your mind cannot find healthy solutions. In these cases, the medications are prescribed temporarily. Together with other treatment methods, they help speed up the well-being process.
2. Will I get addicted to psychotherapeutic medications?
This is an important and understandable question and one of the important reasons to refuse to take medications. The fact that is necessary to consider is that the addictiveness of the medication is related to the type, severity and duration of your problem. Usually, the medications can be temporary because you learn healthy methods to control your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. Then, there would be no need to continue using the medicine. In such cases, the psychiatrist will decrease the dose, and eventually, there will be no prescription for you. However, there are a few cases when medications are to be used for a long time or even forever:
- When the issue has connate or strong roots.
- When the problem is deep and long-term, the brain cannot cope with the circumstances alone.
- When the precise issues are stressful and out of control
3. How long does it take for the medications to be effective?
The answer to this question entirely depends on your specific situation and the medication itself. Some of them, such as sedative drugs, can show effects in less than an hour. On the other hand, some of them on the other hand, such as antidepressants, need some days to show their influence. You can ask your psychiatrist about the process and time of the effect of the medication. This way, you will have a better understanding to be ready for the impact of the medicines. Additionally, the functional mechanism of the medication is not the same. Therefore, it is possible that you need to talk with your psychiatrist after a few days because you might need a change in the prescription.
4. Do medications have side effects?
Every medication, psychotherapeutic or not, has its side effects. These side effects are short-term, such as nausea or headache, most of the time. The best option for you is to read the brochure inside the box of the medications to acknowledge the possible short-term or long-term side effects. Also, you should know that the medication can be helpful at certain times and dangerous at other times. For example, using sedatives before driving is risky behaviour. You have the right to ask the psychiatrist about these side effects to know which are natural and which are problematic. And after using a particular medication, it is always the best option for you to inform the psychiatrist about any side effects that you might be experiencing.
Remember that medicine can have the license only after reassuring that the adverse effects of mental problems on your life quality and even physical health are much more than the medications’ side-effect.
Don’t forget that usually, the negative effect of mental problems on the quality of your life and your body’s wellness is way less than the medications. Additionally, nothing is more important than your mental health and peacefulness. So, by improving your knowledge of yourself and society, you can make a big step towards increasing the quality of your life and others.
Immigration is one of the most complex experiences in one’s life. Perhaps there are only a few experiences that can be as sweet and, at the same time, as bitter as this one. Immigration means leaving behind the place where we know, belong, and have our memories and longings shaped. It is also going towards a distant place in pursuit of making better days and more prosperity.
After a lot of endeavour and investigation, now that you have made your decision, changed your country and entered a new unknown world of immigration, how can you care about your mental health? So that you can have a better and happier life. We have some advice for you:
1. Get yourself informed about the new country’s culture
The more you know about the new country and its culture, the less shocked you get when confronting a cultural difference. This way, you will have better control over what happens in your life, and you can prevent unpredictable and unpleasant incidences.
2. Learn the language of that country.
The country you have immigrated to may have a challenging language for you to learn. It is also possible that you do not even need to know the language. Nevertheless, it is better to be familiar with the country’s language, even if it is only at a basic level. This way, you feel closer to the new country. You feel you belong there. You can connect better with people; therefore, you can make better professional and amicable relationships.
3. Bring your loved items with you.
Each time you get back to your country, take some items. These items can have a cultural or personal significance for you. This way, you keep yourself close to your country of origin and feel more welcomed in your new residence.
4. Do not hurry in making friends.
Probably, the most challenging part of the process of immigration is the loneliness. However, this does not mean that you should be in a hurry to make friends and escape loneliness. Get information about the boundaries of amicable relations in the country’s culture. Develop your connections step by step so that you do not get hurt from an immature emotional dependence.
5. Find some friends who share the same language with you.
Keep a balance when it comes to making friends with people of your own culture or others. Do not restrict your relations to people of your nationality. However, try making a few friends who speak your language and share the same background with you. It will help you cope and adapt to new circumstances.
6. Choose a few appealing and beautiful locations for shopping or having fun.
It is probable that before immigration, you have had locations in which you spent a lot of time or had a lot of fun. This might not be the case in the new country when you have recently started your life there. You can find a shopping place or a nearby landmark for spending time. This way, you feel you belong to the new atmosphere, and you will start knowing people who come to those places, and you can be one of them.
7. Do not lose contact with your country.
You do not need a crucial subject to make a phone call with your family or friends. Using video calls, share your lives and live together for a few minutes or a couple of hours from a distance.
8. Care about the well-being of your mind and your body.
Join in the gym nearby. Apply for community and volunteer jobs at your educational facility or your workplace. Go hiking, travel and camping with groups. Keep your diet healthy and consult with a psychologist.
9. Be patient.
You had made a massive change in all the aspects of your life when you immigrated. Give yourself the right to need a bit of time to adapt to these changes. However, keep in mind that sadness and anxiety are not a natural part of this experience. Therefore, if you encounter these issues, try your best to find solutions.
10. Reach out for help from a mental health expert.
If, after about six months, you still have problems coping with the new circumstances, your eating and sleep cycle are disturbed, you have become perturbed, anxious, sensitive and exhausted, you cannot focus on your work, your relations, and your professional or academic performance are influenced, you might suffer from the adjustment disorder. This means that there are more fundamental issues resulting in you not having the energy and the ability to adjust to the new circumstances. In this case, you must get help from a psychologist to understand these problems and obstacles and how you can solve them.
- Do you feel better when you talk and share your experiences with someone who understands you?
- Do you like to have this conversation more than a simple chat and benefit from the knowledge of a psychologist?
- Are you interested in growth, self-prosperity, enriching your experiences, gaining serenity, and being more successful?
- If you answered yes to these questions, then group therapy is what you are looking for.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy, or group psychotherapy, is a scientific and effective method to understand and manage psychological problems. The members of group therapies are usually those with similar problems and issues. Through a psychologist’s guidance and scientific instructions, in a safe environment, without a sense of being judged, the members interact with each other, learn from the psychologist, other members of the group, and specifically, an important part of themselves in relation with others, speak of their experiences, listen to each other, and get support from each other. All to have a healthier life.
What are the different types of group therapy?
The world of psychology is not only meant to be for treating psychological disorders and mental issues. Those without illness can also be helped by psychology to experience more profound growth, enrich their lives and track their life through a path of prosperity and health. Therefore, it is essential not to be tricked by the word “Therapy” when we say group therapy. Group therapy is not meant only for treatment; some groups join together to grow, prosper, and learn methods of gaining calm and success.
There are also differences among the therapy groups based on their psychological approach, number of members, and sessions. However, beyond all of these differences, various advantageous group therapy results are proven in different clinical outcomes and scientific studies.
What are the benefits of group therapy?
Group therapy is not a simple gathering to chat about experiences. Psychologists are aware of the scientific basis of group therapy and are present in all sessions. They give scientific advice, conduct treatments, look out for the members’ mental state and manage the sessions to stay in an efficient and healthy lane. The presence of a psychologist and being goal-oriented are two significant points and reasons behind the efficiency of group therapy.
2. We realize that we are not alone.
Group therapy members are usually homogeneous; they have similar experiences, issues, concerns, and worries. If the members are homogeneous, similarities in concepts and experiences reduce the feeling of loneliness.
In other words, knowing other people are experiencing the same problems as we do helps us feel calm and understood. This way, the feeling of loneliness and separation would diminish in us.
3. We find a supportive network.
Similar and fundamental human concerns will cause the group members to understand each other’s experiences and words thoroughly. Under specific group rules, they can give each other emotional support or fine advice. Hearing similar concerns from someone else brings a sense of sympathy and eliminates the feeling of loneliness. It also can be likened to a mirror in which we can see our image again from a distance.
4. We gain a new approach to our issues.
By understanding how other people interpret the circumstances differently, we will find a new approach to ourselves and our lives. We can see everything from another point of view. We can use others’ experiences to cope with our conditions more effectively, find new solutions to our problems, and learn more strategies.
5. We settle in a safe space of no judgments.
It might have happened that you felt your decisions and behaviors were being judged even by your closest ones. You might have been worried about telling your secrets to them. In group therapy, the members are in a safe space where all their thoughts and issues are easily said. In such an environment, we can worry less about being judged. As a result, we can talk about nonrevealed parts of ourselves and become aware of them and their influence on others.
6. We practice social skills.
Sympathy, active listening, being nonjudgmental, keeping secrets, and paying attention to another person’s sorrow are among the most crucial social and communicative skills. To have an effective and healthy presence in group therapy, we should practice these skills alongside other members. Sometimes, some groups are formed mainly to have the members practice these skills. Participation in a group significantly enriches our social skills and the capacity to cope with others.
Things to know before attending a group therapy
Group therapy is not advised for every condition, problem or illness. The psychologist -an expert in group therapy and the leader of the group- is the one who uses prior knowledge of you to decide whether these group sessions would be optimal for you or not.
The other important point is that all the groups have specific rules to support the members. The members often affirm before the sessions that they will be keeping secrets, will not insult one another, will listen to the instructions and explanations given by the psychologist, and will not get involved in an outside-the-group relationship with other members. Only by keeping these rules can group therapy have its most efficiency.
Group therapy is a conscious and unique experience that is almost always efficient for those eligible for attending it.
If a person breaks a leg, it is not the job of a heart surgeon to treat the injury. Likewise, therapists specialize in particular fields when it comes to mental healthcare. Both psychologists and psychiatrists are familiar with the operation of the human brain, emotions, and thoughts. They are both able to help the patient solve or treat the issues relating to their mental health. However, mental health issues and diseases differ in their categories, intensity, and roots. It is common sense that different problems require different areas of expertise, and it is vital to know what specialist we need for what kind of problem.
If you also happen to get confused while choosing a suitable specialist for your issue and at one point, you find yourself overwhelmed by titles such as psychologist, psychiatrist, consultant, and psychoanalyst, don’t be hard on yourself. Because there are some slight differences between them, and of course, knowing them helps you choose the best path.
This article will help you distinguish between different fields of mental health. Then, you can visit a therapist who is most suited to your concerns.
How are psychiatrists different from psychologists?
Psychology and consulting are among the nonmedical fields. Psychologists choose to study in different majors such as clinical, child, adolescent, developmental and educational, consulting, or couple psychology. Psychology students gain knowledge about various parts of the brain and the effects of hormones on mental health as well. However, the central part of their studies includes the influence of emotional and social issues (e.g., life experiences and parenting methods) on mental health.
There are slight but noteworthy differences between psychology and consulting. Psychologists are educated in curing and making fundamental changes. While consultants usually help clients to make decisions. A consultant tries to prevent new troubles and challenges by guiding the client. In other words, consultants are experts in giving advice on personal and environmental changes when there is no psychological disorder.
On the other hand, to briefly address the difference between a psychologist and a consultant, psychologists usually tend to solve more complicated issues and treat mental disorders during several sessions. While the consultants work with clients with lower levels of complexity, and in the span of a few meetings, they consult and guide the patients.
We should mention that right now, many consultants learn about more fundamental methods of therapy by attending courses outside the university educational system, and they use these methods in the therapy room.
Psychiatry is a branch of general medicine. Psychiatrists pursue their expertise after graduating from general medicine courses. They learn about the links between different parts of the brain and the influence of endocrine and exocrine hormones on one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Therefore, they are more focused on the mutual relationship between physical and mental issues.
The world of psychology is full of schools and approaches such as psychoanalysis, schema therapy, motion-focused therapy, and reality therapy. Psychologists and therapists choose one of these approaches to solve behavioral issues, interpersonal conflicts, low self-confidence, learning problems, stress, and mild depression. Based on their approach, they use conversations with the patient to refine the emotional and behavioral patterns. Although they are in the know about the function of the brain and the effect of medications, they are not allowed to prescribe medication or biological treatments.
Psychiatrists use prescriptions or biological treatments such as Electroconvulsive therapy to treat complex circumstances which call for medical attention, with or without psychological therapy (e.g., bipolar disorder or biologically based depression or anxiety ). In fact, psychiatrists also take notice of the patient’s patterns of thinking, emotion, and behavior. Still, their primary focus is on the reciprocal link between the body and the mind.
Is it possible that one needs simultaneous help from a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
In many cases, psychiatrists and psychologists work together. A psychologist might notice a need for medical treatment besides consultative therapy. In such a case, the patient will be introduced to a psychiatrist. In the same way, a psychiatrist can conclude to send a patient to a psychologist to receive complementary psychological aid besides medical intervention. There are also some psychiatrists who pass the required courses and treat simultaneously with medications and consultation due to their interest.