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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Hewett

When do I need Medication?

Deciding if you need a medication for your mental health challenges can be a difficult decision to make. Some people are determined to not take pharmaceuticals for their psychological health while others believe it to be a quick solution to the symptoms that they feel hold them back every day. The key to understanding the role of medication in your mental healthcare plan is to first acknowledge that neither of these options are beneficial to simply hang your hat on. Here are some things to consider when considering medication for your mental healthcare:

· Medication can be a costly substitute for therapy, both financially as well as timewise. Starting a medication alone without adjunct treatment is a commitment that may require several weeks or months before you see results.

· Medications can require several trips to the doctor to determine accurate prescription and dosing.

· Medications sometimes have side effects ranging from minimal to severe. When medication is absolutely necessary, sometimes patients have to learn to live with these side effects, but if they can be avoided without the need for the medication altogether the latter is clearly preferred.

It is important to talk to both your doctor and your therapist about your medications, dosages, and side effects. A therapist can help you explore whether a medication is truly helpful or not, and what to report to your doctor. I recommend, if you are not already on a medication, to give counseling a try. Attending at least four to six appointments with a counselor will give you a chance to put resources and skills in place to alleviate your mental health symptoms. If all of your efforts still leave you without result, medication evaluation would then be your next step.

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