Many mental health issues stem from an imbalance in your brain’s chemistry, and the goal with medications is to restore that balance. While effective, this approach is only a part of a much larger treatment plan.
Every person’s struggle with mental health is unique, and the team here at Plymouth Psych Group understands this important point. This also means there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
If you’d like to learn more about the role that medication management can play in your overall mental health treatment plan, we’ve pulled together some points for you to consider.
Medications aren’t a cure
One of the first things we tell our patients is that a pill isn’t going to cure their mental health issue, but it can help greatly in managing their symptoms. For example, if you have a mood disorder like depression, we can place you on an antidepressant that can help improve your moods, allowing you to find some light in an otherwise dark place.
While you take your medication, however, we also turn to psychotherapy and psychiatry services to address the underlying cause of your mood disorder. Through these types of therapies, we give you the tools you need to interpret and regulate your moods for better mental health moving forward.
There are many different types of mental health medications
When it comes to managing mental health through medications, it’s important to understand that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of medications that address your mental health from different angles.
In the category of antidepressants, for example, there are many different types, including:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Bupropion (which increases your dopamine levels)
The reason why we outline all of these confusing terms is to illustrate that antidepressants work on different brain chemicals. After we sit down with you to discuss your symptoms, we recommend an antidepressant we think will work best and explain to you in more detail our reasoning for the recommendation.
Finding one that works
Not only do most mental health medications take weeks to rebalance your brain’s chemicals, it may take us several attempts to find the best medication or combination of medications for your unique needs.
Everyone reacts differently to medications, so what works for one person may not work for you. While we operate from some general rules of thumb when it comes to recommending a certain type of psychopharmacology, ultimately it comes down to how your brain processes the medication.
You’re still you
Many of our patients are concerned that medications for mental health will alter their personalities. Rest assured, you’re still you when you take medications, and your personality is still intact. In fact, through medications, our goal is to help release the real you -- the one that’s been stifled by a mental health issue.
Dealing with side effects
Many patients are concerned with potential side effects of medications. When you begin to take your medications, you may notice some side effects as your body adjusts, though some people experience no side effects at all. Again, each person processes the medications differently, so there’s no way to predict it.
We do urge our patients to give the medications a chance before passing judgment. A few side effects during the beginning phases may well be worth the freedom you feel once they take hold and create a better balance of chemicals in your brain.
Ultimately, the decision whether to take medications to improve your mental health is one that’s best made after you sit down with us to review all of your options. To get started, contact our office in Plymouth, Minnesota, to make an appointment with one of our caring and compassionate mental health experts.