Medications that affect mood or thought process are called psychotropics.There are several categories of psychotropic medications. The most common category is antidepressants, which are used to treat symptoms of depression. Common symptoms of depression include low mood, lack of energy, disturbed sleep, and disturbed concentration. Thoughts of death or committing suicide are not uncommon in individuals with depression. Each of the above symptoms may be caused by other psychiatric disturbances as well, and it requires a skilled diagnostic assessment to determine if an individual with one or several of these symptoms suffers from depression.

Another class of psychotropic medications includes mood stabilizers, which are used to treat individuals with symptoms of manic depression otherwise known as bipolar affective disorder. Examples of mood stabilizers include Lithium, Valproic acid and Lamotrigine.




Antipsychotic medications, also known as neuroleptic medications, are a potent group of medications that are typically used to help individuals with psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. Common medications within this class include Risperidone, Olanzapine and Haloperidol. There are potentially bothersome side effects with this class of medications and they need to be used with care.

Antianxiety medications and sleep aids are other categories of psychotropic medications used by psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors trained in diagnosing conditions such as those listed above, which may be, at least in part, treated with medication. Psychiatrists are most adequately trained to determine which antidepressants are best suited for an individual’s needs.