In psychiatric medicine, a psychiatrist will often arrive at the conclusion that a patient will benefit from using psychiatric medication, either for acute or long-term conditions. The use of medication to treat psychiatric disorders is known as medication management. After consulting with the patient and evaluating his or her symptoms, the professional decides that medication is an important part of the solution for treatment, and so he or she prescribes it.
Medication management is for anyone who may benefit from prescription medication for management of psychiatric conditions, or anyone who is already on medication for such a condition. Once medication is prescribed, the mental health provider must continue to monitor the patient to determine how he or she is responding to the medication, both in the short term and long term. This is for patient safety, and also to ensure adequate progress. If the patient reaches a point where he or she no longer needs medication, or needs a different medication, the provider must make the appropriate change.
There are many reasons why medication is chosen as a treatment for mental health conditions. But medication management is not limited to choosing the correct medication; it also concerns how to monitor the effectiveness of that medication, and what changes to make to the regimen, if any are warranted. A good provider always maintains regular contact with his or her patients to ensure that they are getting the most out of whatever medication they are taking. Here are a few different situations that underscore the importance of effective medication management:
When a new patient arrives at one of our locations, or consults one of our providers using our telehealth program, they often do not understand what they are dealing with. In many cases, the most problematic symptom is not necessarily the one that defines their condition, and thus they have made an incorrect assumption about what they are struggling with. Our trained professionals know just what clues to zero in on and what questions to ask to gain further clarity. This is the critical part of diagnosis – knowing what the illness looks like from the point of view of the patient.
A good therapist is a great listener. But just as important as understanding and cataloguing symptoms is book knowledge. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a book that contains 157 mental disorders. Having a working knowledge of these disorders makes it possible for a provider to diagnose accurately, after receiving all of the relevant information from the patient. That knowledge also enables the provider to come up with a variety of options for treating the condition with medication, if it is warranted.
One of the tragedies of modern psychiatric medicine is that acute conditions often go untreated, or are treated inadequately. An acute mental illness is one that presents symptoms that require immediate medical attention. For example, if a person is considering attempting suicide, it is often best to get them to a clinic that specializes in inpatient services.
Unfortunately, Essential Care NJ offices do not generally provide inpatient services. However, our professionals are keenly aware of conditions that might give rise to an acute episode, and can prescribe medication that might reduce or prevent their symptoms. Essential Care can also provide a referral for services that might be of benefit to the patient if they appear to present significant risk.
The bulk of psychiatric medicine is treating and managing chronic conditions. A chronic mental illness is a condition that requires long-term care. Identifying the correct condition and medication is a critical first step, but so is managing those symptoms moving forward.
Sometimes a patient needs to have their dosage increased, and sometimes decreased. Sometimes there is a medication that might work better, or presents fewer or less significant side effects for the patient. And if the patient is ready to come off of medication completely, the professional needs to have the integrity and wisdom to recognize that opportunity, and help the patient move forward. The only way to know what changes to make is through consistent follow-up with the patient; that means asking the patient about his or her symptoms and progress.
Breaking any drug addiction is challenging, whether coming off of a prescription to opioid pain medication, or coming off of an addiction to Crystal Methamphetamine. The acute phase of withdrawal is most difficult, and may require inpatient treatment. But the intermediate and long-term phases also require specialized care to make sure that any prescriptions are helping the patient manage symptoms and avoid relapse. If you (or a loved one) ever find yourself battling drug addiction, call your local Essential Care provider. We have extensive training helping people in your situation, and we’re here to ensure that you make it all the way back to a stable way of life.
When you reach out to the professionals at Essential Care for a diagnosis, you get the very best of our attention and effort to help you with your problem. Our core values are fairness, integrity, and honesty, and our mission is to provide holistic, accessible, patient-centered care to enable people to lead healthy, stress-free lives. We truly are in this business to make people’s lives better. And that’s how we will treat you too.
Essential Care New Jersey operates a number of mental health clinics and offices across the state of New Jersey for the purpose of providing excellence in the field of mental health and addiction recovery. We handle patients of all kinds, whether they are dealing with an acute situation, or have a long-term condition that requires continuous care. Whatever situation you may be dealing with, the odds are that our experts have experience dealing with it, and will know exactly how to diagnose and treat it.
If you or someone you know may benefit from mental health services or medication management, locate your local Essential Care location on this website and give our office a call. Our professionals would love to set up an appointment with you and hear what you’ve been dealing with. Mental illness is tricky to diagnose; you can be struggling with something for a long time and not even realize it. Give us a call, and we can help you find your way to the light.