Treating different mental health conditions focuses on talk therapy or counseling and taking medication that can help you achieve chemical balance in your brain. However, when using such drugs, it’s vital to do so under professional supervision. Why?
We all have our personal, unique life stories, family backgrounds, genetic makeup, medical records, and so on. A drug that might work perfectly fine for one person might cause various side effects for another. That’s where psychiatric medication management comes to the rescue. It’s the process within which a psychiatrist prescribes a specific medication depending on a mental health issue you struggle with, monitors your functioning, and, if needed, changes your dosage or suggests an alternative medication to help you find the perfect fit.
Starting psychiatric medication management is an excellent idea if:
- you’ve been taking your psychiatric medication for a while, and you’re not satisfied with the effects,
- you just got your first prescription,
- you struggle with a treatment-resistant mental health problem,
- you feel like you could benefit from taking medication.
In this blog post, we share how professional psychiatric medication management is a game-changer in reducing problematic symptoms and coping with your mental health condition with greater ease. Keep on reading to find out more!
The Benefits of Psychiatric Medication Management
If you feel intimidated, overwhelmed, or anxious about the idea of booking your first appointment with a psychiatrist, you’re not alone, and your experience is quite understandable. After all, mental health issues or psychiatric medication are taboo topics with a lot of stigma around them.
But taking prescribed drugs does not mean that you’re weak or don’t know how to cope. Quite the opposite: it shows your willingness to invest in your well-being and overcome difficulties along the way. Not to mention, the medication itself can bring relief from upsetting symptoms, i.e., sleeplessness, chronic stress, or mood swings.
When done correctly, that is, with the assistance of a professional, psychiatric medication management can bring many benefits, such as:
- monitoring the treatment to ensure you’re matched with the best medication for you,
- optimizing the dose / changing the medicine to help meet your unique needs,
- minimizing side effects and risks linked to specific medications,
- adjusting the treatment plan according to your particular situation.
3 Tips on Psychiatric Medication Management
1. Stay informed
Start by researching the drugs you’ve been prescribed, check the available alternatives, and discuss the pros and cons of taking this specific medication with your psychiatrist.
Don’t be shy about asking as many questions as you need on side effects, additional risks, or potential benefits. Gathering all that data will help you make an informed decision and be fully aware of how this medication could affect you.
Staying informed also means observing how you feel once you start your treatment. Here are some questions to ask yourself daily:
Consider keeping track in a medical journal or writing it all down on your phone so that you can share your observations during an appointment with your psychiatrist.
2. Stay in touch with your psychiatrist
Psychiatric medication management only works if both sides stay in touch and have an open line of communication. Don’t hesitate to contact your psychiatrist if you have any questions, concerns, or topics to discuss. It’s crucial for the success of your treatment to remain in contact with your psychiatrist and regularly meet them for your appointments.
Another priority is to follow your psychiatrist’s instructions and take your medication precisely as prescribed. If you don’t feel well or believe that your mental health declined since taking the medication, talk to your psychiatrist about it first. Their expert knowledge and experience can make all the difference. Changing the dose, switching meds, or abruptly stopping your treatment on your own is a one-way street to worsening your mental state and struggling with additional problems like withdrawal or depressive symptoms.
3. Consider taking medication in line with therapy
Whether you suffer from anxiety, struggle with depression, or PTSD, often psychiatric medication might not be enough on its own. The recommended course of action is to complete your treatment with talk therapy to foster the most effective results.
If you’re not sure whether you should decide on psychotherapy, medication, or both, start by reading this article. In a nutshell, here are some reasons for you to consider the psychopharmacological approach:
Click here to contact us and set up an appointment with one of the experienced psychiatrists from our Harbor Psychiatry team.
This article is provided by Dr. Ralph Kueche (Child Psychologist). Dr. Kuechle is a Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist who specializes in treating children and their families who may be struggling with mood and behavioral issues. Learn more about Dr. Kuechle.