Just as we can use medications to treat general medical conditions like diabetes, we can use medications to assist in the treatment of various mental health conditions as well. When considering whether to work with a psychiatrist and begin taking prescriptions as part of your mental health treatment, it’s helpful to keep some of the following tips in mind.

Long-Term Versus Short-Term Medication
For some diagnoses, medication management may be necessary long-term. For others, it may be necessary for only a season or shorter period of time. Talk with your provider to determine what your treatment path may look like and be patient with your body’s response.

Not Taking a Medication Can Have Significant Effects
While providers often talk about risks and benefits of taking a prescribed medication, we cannot ignore the risks and benefits of NOT taking a prescribed medication if symptoms are significant enough to cause problems in your daily life. For example, while stimulants prescribed for ADHD do have risks and side effects, untreated ADHD can have negative impacts on educational, social, and occupational success, and can present safety concerns depending on the severity of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Take Medications as Instructed
Remember to take the medications prescribed to you exactly as instructed. Medications can’t help improve symptoms if they stay in the pill bottle. Taking medications as prescribed improves their chances of effectiveness and helps reduce the risk of side effects.

Be Positive
How you think about your medication can be incredibly impactful on whether they improve your symptoms. If you convince yourself the medicine won’t work, it has less of a chance of being effective. Conversely, taking a prescribed medication with a sense of hope and expectation can improve your body’s response.

Communicate with Your Care Team
Your care team will be able to help you navigate your journey with your medication. As you begin to take your medication, it may be worthwhile to take note of how you feel on it. Do you feel any significant changes? Any side effects? Your care team will be able to work with you to determine the best medication, dosage, and schedule for you.

Need help? Peak Vista has a team of professionals ready to help you take the next step.