Overview of Psychiatric Drugs: History, Types & Uses


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What is the difference between Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)?

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1. Sara suffers from a psychological disorder where she experiences delusions and hallucinations due to high levels of dopamine in her brain. Which of the following types of psychiatric drugs would MOST LIKELY be prescribed in order to lessen Sara's symptoms?

2. If a psychiatrist believed a patient's level of either serotonin or norepinephrine was out of balance, how would you expect them to address the issue?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Psychiatric drugs improve mental functioning by altering a person's brain chemistry. This worksheet/quiz duo tests your knowledge of major classes of psychiatric drugs for three types of disorders. The quiz questions ask about how psychiatric drugs work and possible side effects.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

You will be assessed on these concepts in the quiz:

  • Differences between Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Effects that antipsychotics have on brain chemistry and symptoms
  • Psychiatric condition treated by lithium

Skills Practiced

The quiz and worksheet are written to test these key skills:

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information about the use of psychiatric drugs from the related lesson
  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about the three basic kinds of antidepressants in a different light
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information regarding treatment with lithium and interpret it correctly
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about possible side effects of antipsychotic medications

Additional Learning

To learn more about the use of psychiatric drugs, review the detailed lesson entitled Psychiatric Drugs. The lesson will meet the following objectives:

  • Know the history of how psychiatric drugs were discovered
  • Learn how psychiatric medications change brain chemistry
  • Identify the neurotransmitters that are changed by antidepressants
  • Define dopamine and describe how it is regulated by antipsychotic medications
  • Differentiate between antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics
  • Understand why treatment with lithium requires close monitoring by a medical professional