Medication is often an essential part of mental health treatment. It can treat underlying symptoms in acute and chronic situations and help patients maintain the equanimity they need to stick with the healing process.
Prescribing medication in mental health requires something known as “medication management.” In medication management, the patient and therapist work together to determine whether or not a medication is the right option for the patient. In session, the psychiatrist and patient discuss options, then the psychiatrist recommends a dosage. The patient then follows up with the psychiatrist, checking in about the effects of the medicine to determine whether or not it benefits the patient.
In some cases, patients may need long-term management of their medications. Bodies adjust over time, and medications may not be as effective after years or months of use. In cases where a medication has addictive properties, long-term management can help guard against addiction.
The Life Center Counseling Group's psychiatrists Doctor Amee Shah, MD and Susan Glodstein (Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner) practice effective medication management, where the patient and doctor work together to find the right balance for the patient. The patient has to remain committed to the process, and the patient must adhere to all dosages and recommendations made by a doctor. A patient should never take someone else’s prescription and they should also never take more than their own recommended dosage. Self-dosing can create very dangerous scenarios for patients.
Patients should keep in mind that their need for medication may change over time. When progress is made in therapy, for example, patients sometimes require less or even no medication. Long term medication management can help navigate these nuances.
The Pros and Cons
If you are considering medication for a mental health condition, it can be helpful to weigh all of the pros and cons before making your decision.
* It’s effective
* It can speed up your rate of recovery
* It can provide the equilibrium needed for successful therapy
* It can improve your quality of life
* It can address biological triggers
* It can come with side effects
* It requires medication management
* It can take a while to find the right dosage
* It can come with some social stigma
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