6. Don’t refer to therapy.
Psychopharmacology without therapy is treating an infection with Tylenol.
Medications do not cure a psychiatric disease; we’re not even sure what the disease actually is. What they can do is reduce symptoms, give you strength—so that you can learn new behaviors. That’s the point of medications. Treating depression with an antidepressant is not the solution; it’s the preliminary step in allowing you to figure out how to handle depression later on. The adaptation, the adjustment, the physical altering of brain functioning is done by new learning, often this is therapy (though it doesn’t have to be.) I’m not saying therapy is that great, or necessary, either. I’m simply saying that trying to improve a person’s long term status using medications alone without some sort of education and training is a waste of time. It is maybe the most profound disservice of all to tell a patient that their depressive or bipolar symptoms are the result of biology or chemical imbalances and thus absolve them of the responsibility of learning new ways of interpreting and coping with their environment.