Dr. Thompson

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Thompson

Last Updated on:
April 24, 2024

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One of the most basic and common approaches to treating mental health disorders is the use of medications. A variety of types of prescription drugs help people improve or eliminate troubling symptoms of their mental illnesses. In fact, finding the right medication for mental illness can make all the difference in how a person feels and acts on a daily basis. Arbor Wellness employs a staff of medical experts who understand how these meds work and can match each person with the right drug for their specific needs.

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Arbor Wellness is an industry leader in mental health treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

About Medication for Mental Health

When someone has a mental health disorder, they want to use all available options that can help them heal. Talk therapy and experiential therapy prove valuable, as do basic lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and exercising. While not everyone requires medications for mental illness, for many people it provides a valuable leg up in feeling better. For some, medications and psychiatry provide a way to minimize symptoms of mental illness, while for others, it eradicates them completely. As well, some people only need the meds temporarily, while others find using them long-term provides the best benefits.

Who Can Prescribe Medication for Mental Health?

When someone needs medication, there are three sources who can prescribe them. The first is a physician or psychiatrist, both of whom are licensed medical doctors. The second is a physician’s assistant, who is considered a mid-level healthcare provider. Last is a psychiatric nurse practitioner, also known as a psychiatric nurse.

Most Common Medications for Mental Illness

A report showed that in 2020, about 20% of adults took part in mental health treatment during the previous 12 months. Of those, 16.5% took at least one prescription medication as part of their treatment. As of the same year, the 10 most popular psychiatric medications based on the number of prescriptions purchased are:

Sertraline (Zoloft)

Escitalopram (Lexapro)
How Long Does It Take For Lexapro to Work?

SertralinBuproprion (Wellbutrin)

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

Citalopram (Celexa)

Alprazolam (Xanax)

Methylphenidate (Concerta)

Paroxetine (Paxil)

The most common types of medications for mental health disorders include the following ones.


These medications are used to treat depression and constitute the most commonly prescribed category of mental health drugs. They also can be used to treat anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Many people get great results from using different types of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

More on antidepressants: 

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Anti-Anxiety Medications

This type of medication treats people who have anxiety disorders and panic attacks. The most common group is benzodiazepines. They help people reduce their anxiety levels and sleep better.


This type of drug helps treat people with schizophrenia and people who experience psychosis as part of depression and bipolar disorder. These medications are divided into two categories: first-generation and second-generation

Mood Stabilizers

People with bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder often find relief from using this type of medication. They help even out a person’s moods, including the mania and depression that happen with bipolar disorder.

Pros and Cons of Psychiatric Medications

When someone takes medication for mental illness, they may experience pros, cons, or a combination of both. While some meds don’t work well for some people, they can provide marvelous effects for others. The pros of using these drugs include:

  • Minimize or eliminate difficult or uncomfortable side effects of mental illness
  • Usage allows a person to feel more in balance both emotionally and physically
  • Provides improvement in a person’s career or schoolwork
  • Improved cognitive abilities
  • The ability to participate fully in personal relationships

Unfortunately, mental health medications can have a downside for some. For some, it can take a long time to find the right drug. This means they go through a trial process more than once, which can feel tiresome and frustrating. Even when the right med is found, it can take several weeks for it to take full effect. Additionally, some people experience side effects when they use medications for mental illness. For some, they prove temporary, while others either deal with them long-term or have to switch to another drug. At Arbor Wellness, we provide genetic testing so individuals can get a better idea of what medications will best suit their needs.

Efficacy of Medications

Medications used to treat mental health disorders offer a great deal of effectiveness for those who use them. Regardless of which type of mental illness a person has, it’s worth exploring if prescription medications can help improve their symptoms. 

How Will These Medications Make Me Feel?

How mental health medications make a person feel depends on many factors. They include what medication it is, the dosage, and how often it’s taken. As well, every person has their own individual brain chemistry and may react differently. The goal is to achieve relief from symptoms of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, and moodiness. Some people experience minimized symptoms, while others find certain symptoms disappear altogether. 

Where Can I Get Medication for Mental Health?

Someone seeking treatment for a mental health disorder often wants to explore all of their options. Most facilities offer medication for mental illness as part of a well-rounded approach to healing. Medications can also be obtained through private sessions with a psychiatrist or by visiting the person’s physician or other healthcare provider.

Get Mental Health Treatment in Nashville

Are you looking for quality treatment for a mental health disorder and want to know about your options? Arbor Wellness not only provides different types of talk and experiential therapy, but we also offer access to medication for mental illness. Our staff assess each person to understand their specific needs and determine which medications will provide the best results. The combination of therapy and the right prescription drug can turn your life around and create a world of mental and emotional balance.

Would you like to talk to one of our staff members about how medications can help you or someone you love? Visit our admissions page today and let us answer your questions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency please contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

We Work With Most Major Insurance

Did you know most major health insurance plans with out-of-network benefits can help cover most of the costs associated with our program? Click below to find out your coverage and treatment options right now.

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