Not all mental disorders respond to medications, but sometimes it is recommended.
I like to think about medications like wearing glasses. Many people don't realize they need glasses until something unexpected happens. Once they get the right prescription, they can experience their world more fully. Glasses don't work if you don't wear them and sometimes can cause problems when you don't have them.
Medications are also not like wearing glasses. For certain diagnoses, you may not need medication daily or even for the rest of your life. Unlike glasses, medications for mental disorders are not an exact science, and may take time to figure out the right fit.
How would I know if I need medication?
Have other treatments been ineffective?
Are you experiencing physical symptoms?
Are your symptoms due to physical causes?
How would I get started with medication?
Talk to your doctor to find out your options.
Ask about non-prescription alternatives.
Remind your doctor about your insurance limitations or financial situation.
Read the information provided about the prescribed medication.
Ask questions about your concerns with taking medications.
Use medication as prescribed, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs.
Allow your medication time to work.
Monitor side effects with a written log to discuss with your doctor.
If medication helps, why go to counseling?
If medication is like wearing glasses so that you can experience the world more fully, counseling helps you interpret that world. If you see a fire, you need context to know whether to get marshmallows or the fire department. Working together, medications and counseling can doubly increase your treatment prognosis.
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