By Moira Dolan MD.
Have you ever experienced brain fog, strange moods, or suicidal thinking while on a prescription medication? Do you wonder if your doctor gave you all the necessary warnings about the mental effects of what has been prescribed? Do you sometimes think you might not need to be on all those drugs? Chances are you have not been given the opportunity for Informed Consent, because you were not told what is really known (and not known) about what the drug is doing in the body and brain, its possible side mental effects, what’s known and not known about its safety, and the actual evidence regarding how well it works (or not). Any drug that causes changes in mind, mood, emotion or behavior is, by definition, a psychotropic agent, regardless of whether it is prescribed in a psychiatric setting. Psychiatric drugs have the potential to cause the very things they claim to treat, or worse. Even common, non-psychiatric medications can have profound mental effects.In today’s assembly line health care with ten-minute office visits, often with only a non-physician assistant or nurse, the quick fix of dispensing a prescription almost never includes a thorough discussion of the factors you would really need to make a well-considered decision about accepting a drug. This user-friendly no-nonsense guide empowers the health care consumer with the basics in order to make informed decisions about psychiatric drugs and other meds with unsuspected mind-bending effects.Dr. Dolan is passionate about patient empowerment and believes being an informed consumer is the only protection against becoming a victim of your medications.