Medication management at Healthwise
We offer quality psychiatric services by Board Certified healthcare professionals. Services include evaluation, medication management, comprehensive treatment planning and coordination of care with other healthcare professionals for patients ages 6 and older.
What to expect on your first visit
Your first visit with your healthcare professional 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 and your provider 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, they 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 healthcare professional 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.
When is it a good idea to use 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.
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
- Other medications prescribed and herbal/vitamin supplements
- 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.
Innovative Behavioral Healthcare
Our mind-body studio brings a whole-person approach to behavioral health. One that welcomes an exploration of other complimentary modalities for improving emotional health and well-being.
As we recognize that for some "getting out of our head" can be a challenge we also understand doing just that can help us to make that vital connection with ourselves. A connection that can often result in creating the real and deep changes we crave.