Medication Management at Associated Behavioral Health Care
The question to start or continue psychiatric medications can be a difficult decision. Medications are an important part of effective treatment for many mental health conditions. The approach we take here at ABHC to psychopharmacology (or “medication management”) is centered around respecting your individuality and to acknowledge the complexity of this intervention as it pertains to the specific individual.
What is critical to understand is effective psychopharmacology takes time. A detailed history and ongoing discussion of your response to medications is essential to providing excellent care. By spending the time to get to know you as an individual, we can tailor the selection of medications and the dose to your specific needs. We can better understand how your current life stressors or other medical conditions may affect your medication response. There is enough time to discuss any concerns you may have about each medication including side effects.
When starting or adjusting medications, we request that you return frequently to be sure that the interventions are effective. We will weigh you regularly and may check your blood pressure or request additional laboratory tests to monitor your reaction to medications. We will also ask that you complete symptom questionnaires before every appointment. This gives us another source of information to track your personalized response to treatment.
Most people who benefit from psychiatric medications do best when the medication management is combined with psychotherapy. If you are already participating in psychotherapy with another provider, or need an intensity of psychotherapy that we do not offer, we can coordinate with the other providers in the community.
Medications are selected carefully and we adhere to the latest scientific evidence in each recommendation. We are especially cautious about prescribing controlled substances. These powerful medications can be safely and ethically managed only in the context of an ongoing treatment relationship.
Your prescriber will work with you to determine a follow-up schedule that best meets your needs. Most psychiatric conditions have a tendency to fluctuate over time. It is better to have a scheduled appointment that can detect any changes early than to wait until a crisis arises. For ongoing care, we recommend that you return at least once every 3 months, although for some patients more frequent visits are optimal.