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What are the benefits and side effects of medication?

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Many people living with mental illness use medication to help manage their symptoms. While it can help, medication can also cause side effects. 

Trial and error, hot flushes, dry mouth and weight gain are real hurdles people face. But, depending on the illness, benefits include reduced anxiety, clarity of thought, reduced hallucinations, stability and relief.

So how do people balance the pros and the cons?

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Busting myths about psychiatric medication

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Psychiatric medications, also known as psychotropic medication, play an important role in the treatment and management of mental illness.

Yet despite being commonplace, there are many myths surrounding the use and effectiveness of psychiatric medication.​

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Managing your food, mood and weight when living with a mental illness

Managing your food, mood and weight when living with a mental illness

‘Watch what you eat’ was the candid advice when first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Five years later I had outgrown three dress sizes and weighed an extra 25-30 kilos!

In my case this weight gain was due to a combination of medication, comfort food, low self esteem, mood and the frequent labelling my emotions as ‘wrong’.

After a lot of soul searching and looking at my patterns – my ‘default setting’ – I identified three key areas that had a direct influence on my weight gain and the changes I needed to make.

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Thinking about stopping your medication?

Thinking about stopping your medication?

People take psychiatric medications for a variety of conditions and for varying lengths of time – sometimes indefinitely. So it is not unusual for some people to consider coming off their medication, especially if they are feeling better or the side effects are making life difficult. 

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