Psychiatric medications have the ability to transform your quality of life by reducing the mental health symptoms affecting your ability to achieve success, build relationships, and thrive.
As long as you take psychiatric medications, you also need medication management. Medication management is a comprehensive mental health service that includes prescribing drugs, teaching you about your medicine, and monitoring your mental and physical health.
At Insight Psychiatric Services, Kevin Joseph, DNP, PMHNP-BC, has extensive experience providing individualized medication management, working closely with each person to restore their mental health.
Here, he explains how medication management supports four vital mental health treatment goals.
If you have a headache, you take a pain-reliever — any brand of acetaminophen or ibuprofen will do the job. Your choice is simple, straight forward, and you get results.
But psychiatric medications aren’t simple or straight forward. Finding the best medication and dosage for each person sometimes takes trial and error. Let’s use antidepressants to illustrate why medication management is essential for achieving optimal results.
There are more than 20 antidepressants. While all antidepressants are designed to improve your depression symptoms, each one works differently in your body.
And there’s another variable affecting your results: your DNA. The way your body responds to each antidepressant depends on your DNA.
Each person’s unique DNA determines the effectiveness of each individual antidepressant, including the optimal dose you need of each one to relieve your symptoms. The antidepressant that does a good job lifting your mood may not have any effect on someone else who’s depressed.
These variables mean that the first antidepressant — or other psychiatric medication — we prescribe may or may not do the best job of relieving your symptoms.
Routine medication management appointments are essential for managing this process and determining if your mental health is improving or if you need a medication change.
All medications, including psychiatric medicines, pose the risk of side effects and adverse reactions. Our priority is to reach your treatment goals while protecting your health. The only way to do that is with follow-up medication management appointments.
While we mentioned symptom relief above, the r is ole of medication management in this mental health goal deserves additional attention.
When developing your treatment plan, we recommend psychiatric medications to achieve one crucial goal: improve your symptoms.
Your treatment goal may be to stabilize your mood, improve attention, stop anxiety attacks, or reduce aggression and anger, to give you a few examples of symptoms we treat with psychiatric medications.
Medication management gives us the dedicated time to regularly evaluate your symptoms and make sure you’re achieving your treatment goal.
Monitoring your symptom improvement is important when you first start taking medications. It’s also essential to have regular follow-up appointments for as long as you take the medicine because some medications can lose their effectiveness over time.
Medications make a dramatic difference in your life by improving your symptoms. But they don’t take the place of therapy. Therapy helps you achieve and maintain long-lasting mental wellness.
Your therapist teaches you about your mental health disorder, serves as a guide as you explore the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affecting your mental health, and teaches you the skills you need to thrive in life, whether you need help socializing, communicating, or managing anger.
Unfortunately, severe mental health symptoms often prevent people from engaging in therapy. As medication management improves your symptoms, you can participate in and benefit from therapy.