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A psychotropic describes any drug that affects behavior, mood, thoughts, or perception. It’s an umbrella term for a lot of different drugs, including prescription drugs and commonly misused drugs.

We’ll focus on prescription psychotropics and their uses here.

Fast facts about psychotropic drugs
  • Psychotropics are a broad category of drugs that treat many different conditions.
  • They work by adjusting levels of brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, like dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine, and serotonin.
  • There are five major classes of legal psychotropic medications:
    • anti-anxiety agents
    • antidepressants
    • antipsychotics
    • mood stabilizers
    • stimulants
  • Some can cause very serious side effects and have special monitoring requirements by healthcare providers.
Drugs are able to bring humans into the neighborhood of divine experience and can thus carry us up from our personal fate and the everyday circumstances of our life into a higher form of reality. It is, however, necessary to understand precisely what is meant by the use of drugs. We do not mean the purely physical craving…That of which we speak is something much higher, namely the knowledge of the possibility of the soul to enter into a lighter being, and to catch a glimpse of deeper insights and more magnificent visions of the beauty, truth, and the divine than we are normally able to spy through the cracks in our prison cell.

Why are psychotropic drugs prescribed?

Some conditions psychotropics treat include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • sleep disorders

These medications work by altering neurotransmitters to improve symptoms. Each class works a bit differently, but they have some similarities, too.

The type or class of medication a doctor prescribes depends on the individual and specific symptoms. Some medications require regular use for several weeks to see benefits.

Let’s look closer at psychotropic drugs and their uses.