Medications are a common treatment for mental health conditions. Each psychiatric medication is unique from one another, affecting the brain differently. If you choose to explore medication as an option for your mental health treatment, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. There is nothing wrong with taking medication for your mental health.
For many people, taking medication signals that there is something inherently wrong with them.
But, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A study by Fox, Smith, and Vogt (2018) found that people who have a mental health stigma and express it both internally or externally, are less likely to seek treatment. Combating the negative stereotypes that can come with using the medication as a mental health treatment and stigmas against mental health, in general, takes an immense amount of courage – so does recognizing that the symptoms you are dealing with will require more than just personal management.
2. Consult a medical professional for questions, concerns, or anything about your medication first.
Talking to a medical professional such as a primary care doctor, psychiatrist, or nurse practitioner is essential when starting medications. Here are a few things you should consider when looking at different medicines:
- Other medications you are taking
- If you will have to make any lifestyle changes based on the medication (alcohol consumption, exercise, etc.)
- What side effects you may experience
- What time of day the medicine needs to be taken at
- Overall risks and benefits of the medicine
Side effects are perhaps the most important thing to consider, because they can have a significant impact on the way you feel.
If exploring options for mental health medications is something you’re interested in, we have two on-staff nurse practitioners that can talk you through the process of selecting a medication that works best for your body.
We also offer genetic testing, which helps to determine which medications your body can metabolize the best. In 2019, contributors to the Mayo Clinic Q & A predicted that genetic testing, or pharmacogenomics, would revolutionize the way that people were able to find out which medications work best for them.
3. Stick to a routine with your medication.
If you do choose medications as part of your treatment plan, be sure to stick to a routine when taking them. Many medications need to be taken at the same time every day to ensure that they are doing what they are supposed to do – help you manage your mental health better. Other tips like setting alarms, using a pill case, and keeping a “medicine calendar” are also valuable ways to create a schedule for your medication.
At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with taking medication as a treatment for your mental health. No matter which treatment plan you choose, the highly trained staff at Kentucky Services will be there to help you along every step of the way. For more information on how to contact one of our nurse practitioners or other clinicians for mental health services, contact us here