It can be discouraging when antidepressants don’t deliver much-needed relief. Unfortunately, it’s also common: Up to one-third of people who take antidepressants to treat a depressive disorder still experience symptoms. Here’s what you should know.
At EXIS Recovery in West Los Angeles, California, our mission is clear — to help adolescents and adults heal from the despair caused by trauma, substance abuse, or mental illness, and to give them the tools and support they need to reclaim a sense of personal strength and purpose.
Although there’s no single treatment that can magically cure any mental health disorder, it is possible to lift the weight of trauma, addiction, and mental illness with the right care strategy.
The multidisciplinary team at EXIS takes a collaborative, evidence-based approach to care that matches your individual therapy needs and sets realistic, achievable treatment goals. In many cases, medication is a pivotal part of that approach.
Let’s explore the role of medication in mental health care, and how it can advance you toward your treatment goals.
Medication can play a key role in the treatment of mental health disorders, especially when it’s combined with other proven strategies like psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), neurofeedback, and mindfulness practices.
There are effective medication options for all major mental health conditions, including:
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is also a common component of care for people who are trying to recover from an alcohol or opioid use disorder.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to better mental health. Every treatment plan is highly individualized, from its basic elements and goals to how it evolves as progress is made and new goals are set.
Naturally, medication can play a wide range of roles depending on an individual’s needs.
It can be used to:
For people who are addicted to alcohol or opioids, medication can ease debilitating withdrawal symptoms and reduce the desire to use.
Each medication may have its own distinct effects, but all mental health medications share one common goal: to ease disruptive symptoms as much as possible.
Medication alters the brain chemicals that regulate mood and thought patterns. By reducing the negative symptoms that arise from and help perpetuate a mental health disorder, drug therapy actually increases the effectiveness of complementary strategies like talk therapy.
Think of it this way: When undermining symptoms fade away or affect you to a much lesser degree, you have space to breathe, relax, and recalibrate. Essentially, medication helps force your symptoms out of the driver’s seat, so you can get back behind the wheel and take control.
Although medication plays an important part in helping many people recover, heal, and rebuild, it isn’t a quick fix — and it isn’t right for everyone. In fact, people with mild or moderate mental health disorders often find great success through psychotherapy alone.
If your therapist prescribes medication as part of your treatment plan, ask questions. To get the most out of your medication, you must first understand its likely benefits as well as its potential side effects.
It’s also important to take your medication as prescribed. While a few psychiatric medications work quickly, most must build up in your system for a few weeks before they take effect.
Let your therapist know if you experience side effects, if you feel as though the medication isn’t working, or if you’re generally worried that it may be doing more harm than good. You may be able to adjust your dose or switch to a different medication.
Call 424-244-3513 to make an appointment at our West Los Angeles office today, or use the easy online booking tool to schedule a visit with one of our seasoned therapists any time.
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