Why Healthwise for Your Medication Management Services

At Healthwise, we believe that true emotional, physical, and mental wellness requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. We have purposefully created a team of multidisciplinary professionals to provide psychiatric and psychological services under the same roof. By drawing upon the strength of a multidisciplinary team of individuals who are conveniently able to consult regarding your treatment needs, we can ensure that you get the best care available.

Comprehensive mental health assessments and treatments are coordinated by licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Together, we'll build a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs.

Medication Management at Healthwise

As medical doctors specializing in mental health treatment, psychiatrists offer the following psychiatric services at Healthwise:

  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Prescribing of medications and medication management
  • Comprehensive treatment planning
  • Coordination of care/consultation with other professionals

Medications

Medications that affect mood or thought process are called psychotropics. There are several categories of psychotropic medications. The most common category is antidepressants, which are used to treat symptoms of depression. Common symptoms of depression include low mood, lack of energy, disturbed sleep, and disturbed concentration. Thoughts of death or committing suicide are not uncommon in individuals with depression. Each of the above symptoms may be caused by other psychiatric disturbances as well, and it requires a skilled diagnostic assessment to determine if an individual with one or several of these symptoms suffers from depression.

Another class of psychotropic medications includes mood stabilizers, which are used to treat individuals with symptoms of manic depression otherwise known as bipolar affective disorder. Examples of mood stabilizers include Lithium, Valproic acid and Lamotrigine.

Antipsychotic medications, also known as neuroleptic medications, are a potent group of medications that are typically used to help individuals with psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. Common medications within this class include Risperidone, Olanzapine and Haloperidol. There are potentially bothersome side effects with this class of medications and they need to be used with care. Antianxiety medications and sleep aids are other categories of psychotropic medications used by psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors trained in diagnosing conditions such as those listed above, which may be, at least in part, treated with medication. Psychiatrists are most adequately trained to determine which antidepressants are best suited for an individual’s needs.


What to Expect

Your first visit with the psychiatrist at Healthwise is an evaluation, which takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and entails a series of questions designed to get to know you, your history, and the symptoms that you are currently experiencing. Treatment recommendations will be discussed with you and the psychiatrist will determine if your needs are within the scope of services offered at Healthwise. If some of your needs are beyond the scope of our services, you will be referred to the appropriate healthcare professionals. When necessary, the psychiatrist may recommend other treatment interventions or assessments such as individual therapy, psychological testing, or diet and other lifestyle changes.

If medication has been prescribed to you, your psychiatrist will want you to schedule a follow-up appointment to assess the effectiveness of your treatment. The follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 20 minutes.

The Decision to Medicate

For many, the decision to medicate their mental health issues is complicated; it is highly personal and rarely straightforward. At Healthwise, we appreciate and respect your right to decide. Click here for more information and tips to help you decide.

Common Questions and Concerns:


What are psychotropic medications?

Psychotropic medications are substances that affect brain chemicals related to mood and behavior.


When is it a good idea to use psychotropic medications?

When the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks, psychotropic medications may be prescribed. Some individuals need medication to manage severe and difficult problems. Without treatment, these individuals would have difficulty functioning. Others may not need medication to function but find that it improves their overall functioning, quality of life, or facilitates other treatment interventions such as individual therapy.


Once I start a medication, will I have to take it forever?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Some individuals get better with time and medication is discontinued. However, others may need ongoing medication management. And others may find that they benefit from medications at different periods throughout their life. Where you fall on this continuum depends on several different variables including your diagnosis, symptom presentation, history, health, support system, and the other treatment methods you choose to incorporate into your treatment plan. If you are prescribed a medication, it is important to check in with your prescribing physician so that he or she can regularly assess your need for medication and its effectiveness.


How will I know if my medication is working?

This is an important question and comes down to very personal factors. It is important for you to determine what your goals are for treatment. Medications work on specific symptoms like depression, irritability, sleep and anxiety. You should talk with your provider about what symptoms you would like to target and how the medication prescribed can be expected to help. Improved functioning at home, work, or school or in your interpersonal relationships can take more time to achieve than symptoms, but if you are clear about your goals and monitor them with your provider, you will be able to tell when the medication is working.


Will I get addicted to my medication?

While there are some psychotropic medications that can cause symptoms of physiological dependency (anxiolytics, sedative-hypnotics, psychostimulants), the majority of psychotropic medications do not cause addiction. When any medication is taken as prescribed, the chances of becoming addicted is highly unlikely. If you have concerns about your potential to become addicted to a medication or to abuse it, make sure to share them with your prescribing provider.


What kind of side effects will I experience?

Medications work differently for different people. Some people get side effects from medications whereas other people don't. Doses may be smaller or larger, depending on the type of medication and the person. Factors that may influence how a medications affects a person include:

  • Specific diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia
  • Age, sex, and body size
  • Medical diagnoses or physical compilations
  • Habits like smoking, drinking, or other substance abuse 
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Genetics
  • Other medications prescribed and herbal/vitamin supplements
  • Diet
  • Whether medications are taken as prescribed

Your provider will share information regarding potential side effects of the medication you are prescribed. For many, it comes down to a trial of the medication to determine if the benefits of the medication outweigh any potential side effects experienced. If you do experience unwanted side effects, make sure to consult your provider as some medications require a gradual discontinuation since abrupt cessation can cause a worsening of symptoms.


Can this medication change my personality?

No. Your personality is essentially you; it is pervasive and stable; it is who you have been since you were young. The effects of a medication can change how you feel (more focused, more energetic, more clear-thinking -- or more restless, sleepier, or without sexual desire) but not your personality. If you are noticing unwanted feelings such as flat affect, drowsiness, or irritability, than you should consult your provider. Chances are the medication you are taking is not right for you or needs to be adjusted. The benefits of taking a medication should outweigh the cons.

 

I have been working with my psychologist at Healthwise on and off for two years now.  I honestly feel like she understands me and she has helped me in so many ways.  I am not sure where I'd be without her help and support. -G. L. Maple Grove

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