Psychiatric Medication Management Services for Kids, Adolescents, and Adults
Chelsey Lahr- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A common question that patients ask is "when do I know if I should start a medication?" This is a great question since medications can be very helpful, but also have varying risk for side effects. There are several factors that can play into answering this question including your personal history of mental health symptoms and family history. However, the easiest way I have found to help in guiding this question is to look at the level of impairment your symptoms are causing. If your symptoms have started to impact your work or school performance, your personal relationships, or if you no longer find excitement in things you previously enjoyed, this could be an indication that a medication may be helpful.
I have also found that often there are subtle symptoms that people do not readily associate with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. For example, with depression, simple day-to-day tasks may have become overwhelming. This may include personal hygiene/care, decision making is challenging (such as what to eat), irritability (or reactions out of proportion to the situation) are common, and energy feels constantly depleted. After understanding that these symptoms are also part of depression, or other mental health diagnoses, overall functioning may be more impaired than initially recognized. During your appointments I always ask about the "not so subtle" symptoms that can help us understand if we are moving in the right direction towards maximal mental and emotional wellness.
The use of psychiatric medications is one element that can be used to help with symptoms. However, everyone has a different genetic makeup, responses to medications, and factors that may complicate care (such as medical problems), so it is important to consider these things during psychiatric medication management. I look forward to getting to know you and how I can help you start to feel yourself again!