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What are neuromodulators?

I was reading an article in the New York Times by Dr. Adam Woo from King’s College Hospital from the United Kingdom. He explained how anxiety heightens the perception of pain. Antidepressants and antipsychotics such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), amitriptyline (Elavil), and olanzapine (Zyprexa) are used to treat chronic pain. People can get anxious when prescribed these medications and this anxiety makes their pain worse. A better way of thinking about them is as neuromodulators. These medications modulate your nerves to reduce pain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to global mental health. This pandemic has taxed our coping strategies. Many people will require the assistance of medications that act on brain chemistry to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. This is neuromodulation. Along with psychological counselling, these medications can be effective in improving functioning and quality of life. Please consider these options when talking to your prescriber. Getting help is not a weakness. Rather, I consider it a brave step.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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