Psychopharmacology

Pharmacotherapy simply means, “medical treatment by means of drugs.” Psychotropic medications are used to treat mental health disorders. They treat disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. These disorders often cause serious symptoms that interfere with daily activities and complicate interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately psychotropic medications do not cure these disorders, however they can provide a significant amount of relief for disabling symptoms and they can help people live healthy and happy lives. There are many options available, though sometimes finding the right type of medication is often a trial and error process.
 
Making the decision to take psychotropic medication involves recognizing you have a serious issue that affects the overall quality of your life and interferes with your daily functioning. People come to the decision after careful consideration of all of their options. For example, consider what other treatments you have tried in the past and the symptoms you would like to treat. Research suggests that for certain issues a combination of medication along with therapy often leads to the best results for certain disorders. For other issues therapy may be the best option. Together, you and your therapist may have come to the decision together that a pharmacotherapy evaluation is an important next step to offering you the best opportunity for progressing toward your goals.
 
Medication can be useful for those with paralyzing anxiety. Medication can "turn the volume down." For those unable to get out of bed in the morning because depression has stolen all motivation, medication can provide a "kick-start." And for those with a severe mental health condition that involves psychotic symptoms, medication can be a necessity for stability and/or safety. Therefore, certain people may benefit from taking psychotropic medication, on a case-by-case basis.
 
Medication can support the therapy process. It is difficult for most people to focus on symptom relief and self-growth when they are in crisis or struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. In some cases, medication can help to stabilize a person, allowing him or her to progress in psychotherapy. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that cognitive behavioral therapy combined with targeted medication tends to
lead to significant improvement of attention deficit hyperactivity symptoms in adults. A common outcome of successful therapy is the reduction in the need for psychotropic medications. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/198809.php
 
Ultimately the decision to consider a medication will never be risk free. However, you will be fully informed about any recommendations intended use, risks, benefits, and common and more serious side effects to be aware of at the time of your appointment. Together, at PCBH, we can work toward making the future much better than you expected.