How do you know that a new psychiatric medication is working? With medication management for mental health, we’ll take care of your prescription and continue to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness.
Not everyone feels super comfortable with taking medication for their mental health – and we totally get that. The idea of a pill having the ability to alter your mood, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors can be scary. You might not bat an eye at taking medication to fix a physical issue with your body (or maybe you do), but you might stress that psych meds could change your personality, make you feel worse, or lead to an addiction.
Now, not everyone needs medication to improve their mental health. If you’d rather not take mental health meds or simply don’t need them, we respect that. However, for people who have severe impairment from their mental health symptoms and want to restore balance in their brain, psychiatric medication management can be beneficial.
Do You Need Mental Health Medication?
There are many misconceptions surrounding mental health medication, and one of those is that psychiatric medication is the cure for treating mental health conditions. The reality is that our mental health is complex and that mental illnesses are rooted in many factors, both internal (genetics, personality, etc.) and external (environment, relationships, culture, etc.)
Medication will not “cure” your mental illness in the same way that antibiotics are used to treat an infection. Rather, psychiatric drugs help minimize or eliminate symptoms of mental illness. For example, they may help stabilize your mood, encourage sleep, improve your appetite, or prevent hallucinations.
Whether or not you need mental health medication is a very personal choice. Your therapist can help guide you in this decision and may recommend medication if they think it would benefit your treatment.
A Two-Pronged Approach
While the main goal of psychiatric medication is to minimize symptoms that disrupt your life and cause impairment, psychotherapy targets the root cause of mental illness. Rather than thinking of your mental health care as being medication versus therapy, it’s best to look at the big picture of how these treatment methods work together to improve your overall emotional and behavioral health.
When psychiatric medication is involved, a two-pronged approach to mental health treatment is often most effective. Some people may see amazing results with therapy alone. However, taking psychiatric medication without therapy can be problematic. While you may be able to reduce symptoms that make everyday life difficult, you won’t have the opportunity to work with a professional to target the thoughts, behaviors, past experiences, and situations that trigger those bad symptoms in the first place.
Breaking Down the Stigma of Mental Health Medication
People are becoming more open and accepting when it comes to their mental health – and that’s amazing! The mental health stigma has left many people in the dark with mental health conditions for far too long. Every step we take toward bringing light to just how normal and treatable mental health problems enables us to help that many more people to overcome challenges and live a more fulfilling life.
Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health medication has a long way to go. Many people still believe that mental health medication is only for people who are “insane” or who are “too weak” to manage their symptoms without help. They may believe that they will depend on medication to be “normal” or become addicted.
For people that do take psychiatric medication, they may be afraid to share this with others. They may believe that people will assume something is wrong with them or treat them differently because they use medication to help them manage their mental health issues. While few people would think or feel this way if they were being medicated for a physical ailment, like diabetes or heart disease, people are generally uneducated on how psychiatric medications work.
What Is Psychiatric Medication Management?
Psychiatric medication management is a long-term solution to your mental health treatment plan. Medication management goes beyond a doctor just prescribing you medication. Rather, your integrated mental health team will evaluate the effectiveness of the medication over time. If a medicine you’re prescribed isn’t effective or is causing unwanted side effects, your treatment plan will be adjusted.
Who Can Benefit From Psychiatric Medication Management?
Medication management is the ideal way for providers to administer psychiatric medication. Taking mental health meds can feel intimidating enough, but feeling like you’re alone on this journey can make the process even scarier. With medication management for mental health, you know that your therapist and a psychiatric expert are overseeing your care. If you have any questions or concerns, you don’t need to jump through hoops to get heard and have your treatment adjusted.
If you’re already taking prescription psychiatric meds, medication management can benefit you too. When you see a new therapist, they’ll ask you what medications you are taking. With psychiatric medication management, your prescribing practitioner can evaluate your current prescriptions and make suggestions based on your current symptoms and treatment history.
Can Only a Psychiatrist Prescribe Medication for Mental Health?
Medication management is a unique service because most therapists do not have the qualifications to prescribe medication. A medical background is necessary to prescribe medication. Mental health or medical providers who can offer this service (depending on the state) typically include:
- Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners
- Primary care physicians
- Physicians’ assistant
- Nurse practitioner
When you visit a therapist that doesn’t offer medication management, they will refer you to a provider that can prescribe psychiatric medication if they believe it can benefit you. However, when a therapy office provides medication management services, your whole treatment plan is taken care of under one roof.
Can You Get Prescribed Psychiatric Medication Online?
Telemedicine is convenient and effective for many patients, and a psychiatrist can prescribe you meds online, make adjustments as needed, and provide virtual refills. Of course, you want to be cautious and vet an online prescriber. Working with a multi-disciplinary team who takes the time to get to know you and your mental health situation before prescribing medication is ideal. If you already see your therapist virtually, you won’t need to worry about visiting in person to get prescribed.
What Happens If Your Medication Isn’t Working?
Everyone is different, and every case of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorder is completely unique. Just because antidepressants are effective for one person with depression doesn’t mean they will have the same results for another person. With medication management services, you can communicate right away if your medication doesn’t seem to be working or you notice troubling side effects. Your psychiatrist may try switching your prescription or consider a different treatment route.
Learn If Medication Management Is Available at an Ellie Location Near You
Working with a mental health clinic that provides medication management services makes getting the treatment you need as simple and seamless as possible. With access to a multi-disciplinary team, you have several mental health providers ensuring your treatment plan is right for your needs.
Ellie Mental Health provides medication management services at many of our clinic locations. Call us today to get matched with a therapist and begin therapy on your terms.