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Female Patient

Women’s Psychiatric Medication Management

When it comes to psychiatric medications, there are a lot of unknowns which can be uncomfortable for most patients. Finding a psychiatric provider whom you trust as well as understanding their role and knowing what psychiatric medication management is, is instrumental in feeling comfortable and at ease with your recommended treatment plan. The choice to take medications for mental health is a big one, and it is usually necessary when symptoms of your mental illness have gotten worse or can no longer be managed with skills.

Therapy session

Why Psychiatric Medication Management can be Beneficial

Sometimes, mental health problems occur when there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Chemical substances called neurotransmitters send and receive messages throughout the brain. Among the various neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, glutamate, and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA).

 

If there is too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter, mental health problems/symptoms can occur. Therefore the medication works by restoring the chemical balance within the brain. Unfortunately, there currently isn’t a way to medically test for a chemical imbalance, so it can be a matter or trial-and-error to see if medication works, what type works, how much, and for how long. Once again, there is a multitude of research that allows prescribers to prescribe with confidence the appropriate medications for the symptoms you are reporting. 

 

Psychotropic medications do not cure mental health conditions. They work for managing mental illness/symptoms, and they often produce better results when used in conjunction with psychotherapy.

Buying Medication

Mental Illness Medications Pros and Cons

Each medication has a different list of side effects and possible benefits. This is why doctors are always helping patients weigh the possible benefits as well as the side effects of taking these medications. Here are some common pros and cons of taking psychiatric medication:

 

Pros:

  • Can eliminate or reduce symptoms

  • Sometimes—it is the only medical solution available to cure the chemical imbalance

  • Help take the edge off of symptoms during therapy

  • Makes up one part of the whole-person approach to healing

  • Allow patients to have their regular or normal everyday lives

Cons:

  • Can be dangerous without doctor supervision

  • Undesirable side effects can occur

  • Takes several trial and error to find the right dose and medication

  • There are people who might judge and stigmatize patients taking psychiatric medicine

Doctor

What types of Illnesses do Psychiatric Medicine treat?

It is common for people to wonder if mental health medications should be taken at all, what benefits these medications will bring and do those benefits outweigh the side-effects. While there is no cure for mental illness, various treatments including psychotropic medications can assist in alleviating symptoms.

 

Difficulties such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are among those mental illnesses that have proven to respond well to medications.

Sky

What to Expect from Alium Health’s Psychiatric Medication Management Services

When you first meet with a psychiatric provider, he or she will perform an initial assessment, which will include an overview of your symptoms and a medical history. The psychiatric provider will then discuss with you whether or not medication is the best treatment option for treating your mental health symptoms.

 

Based on this assessment, the psychiatric provider will make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan designed with your specific needs in mind. The treatment decisions, however, are ultimately up to you. If you decide to move forward with a medication treatment option, the psychiatric provider will discuss various medications, possible side effects and proper dosages with you.

 

The medication will then be prescribed for a trial period to observe and monitor its effectiveness. This is when you shift from assessment to medication management. If the treatment is effective at managing your symptoms, you will be advised to continue with the current course of treatment, however if it is not meeting your goals, you will discuss alternative medications with the psychiatric prescriber. 

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