Psychotropic drug: Any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior. Some legal drugs, such as lithium for bipolar disorder, are psychotropic. Many illicit drugs, such as cocaine, are also psychotropic. Also known as psychodynamic drug
Psychotropics have been proven to help people with mental illness, including BPD as well as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.1
The National Institute of Mental Health found that patients with depression who were prescribed a psychotropic showed more progress in two months than those who went without treatment showed their entire lives.
Psychotropic drugs are by no means a cure-all. Instead, they work to help minimize symptoms of BPD, like intense mood swings or violent episodes, that can interfere with therapy. Psychotropics take the edge off so you can develop skills to cope with and better manage your mental health.1
Depending on your mental health condition and symptoms, your doctor could prescribe one of the following types of psychotropics:
What to Know Before You Take These Drugs
Many psychotropic drugs are not designed to work instantly. For some, the medications can take several weeks to have their full effect, while others may need to try several different medications before finding the right one. Everyone responds to medication differently, so do your best to be patient and keep your healthcare provider informed on how you’re feeling.2
Before taking psychotropic drugs, be sure to share with your healthcare provider any known medical issues, such as heart conditions, diabetes, or high blood pressure, to ensure the medication won’t aggravate these preexisting conditions.
Like all drugs, psychotropics come with a range of side effects, some of these include:
Changes in appetite
Sexual side effects
While psychotropic drugs can help regulate your emotions and mood, they can also sometimes adversely impact your emotions. For example, you might have a hard time crying when you truly feel sad.2
If psychotropics make you feel “just not like yourself,” tell your doctor so she can find alternative medications—or other treatment strategies—to help you best manage life with BPD.