If you're wondering if medication might be helpful to you, the best person to ask is a medical doctor - they're the only people who can diagnose and prescribe medication for mental illness. Family physicians are probably the best place to start, and if you need a specialist, they can refer you to a psychiatrist. If you don't have a family doctor, you could also head to a walk-in clinic in Kitchener, Waterloo, or Cambridge.

Psychiatric medication (known by people who like big words as "psychotropic medication," "psychoactive medication," or "psychodynamic medication") is most helpful for severe mental illness, such as severe depression or anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Neuroscience can't yet tell us exactly how, but research shows that such medication tends to lower the intensity of symptoms - but doesn't eliminate them altogether.

In severe cases, medication can be extremely helpful. Taking medication is not a sign of weakness. It's also not a silver bullet that will make everything better. Oftentimes, the best course of treatment for severe mental illness is some combination of taking medication (known by big word enthusiasts as "psychopharmacotherapy") and going to counselling (aka "psychotherapy"). 

For more information, check out our article on antidepressant medication for anxiety and depression.