Terminology for Medications That Help Treat Mental Disorders

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Psychological Therapy For Mental Disorders: Terminology

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Medications That Treat…
  • 0:47 Antidepressants &…
  • 1:55 Anxiolytics,…
  • 2:46 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Like any other disease or disorder anywhere in the body, mental disorders need to be treated for the good of the patient. Here, we will define some of the general medications used to treat mental disorders.

Medications to Treat Mental Disorders

Scarily enough, there are people out there who do not believe that mental disorders are an actual illness and that people with things like depression should just 'suck it up.' It's such an arcane thought, though. If your arm can suffer an injury, then so can your brain and mind. That's not a tough thought, is it? And like you'd need to take pain medication for a broken or scalded arm, there also have to be medications that treat mental disorders.

Any drug that affects the mind is known as a psychotropic drug, where 'psych/o' means 'mind' and '-tropic' means 'being attracted to something else,' which in this case is the mind.

Let's go over some of these drugs used to help treat mental disorders.

Antidepressants & Antipsychotics

An antidepressant is a drug that helps to prevent or relieve depression. Depression is a mood disorder that includes a loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities, lethargy, despair, sadness, a feeling of being worthless, and thoughts of suicide.

There are many different kinds of antidepressants, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

The 'anti-' in 'antidepressant' stands for 'against' or 'opposing' something. Obviously, in this case, it means opposing depression. The prefix 'anti-' is also found in antipsychotic drugs, drugs that treat psychotic disorders. These disorders are characterized by a loss of touch with reality, such as delusions and hallucinations. As a reminder, the combining form of 'psych/o,' stands for 'mind.' Examples of antipsychotic drugs include risperidone and aripiprazole, and they are used to treat conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Anxiolytics, Stimulants, and Mood Stabilizers

Another drug that may be given to help a person with a mental disorder is an anxiolytic, a drug that relieves anxiety. 'Anxi/o' stands for 'anxiety,' and '-lytic' implies the 'destruction' of something. So, these are drugs that destroy anxiety. Examples of anxiolytics include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam, and lorazepam.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account