Let’s Talk Medications!

When we touch the keyboard on a computer, this triggers an action to occur. Our bodies are like this as well. Our body and brain have different triggers that naturally cause us to release chemicals that regulate every single function in our body.

  • When we wake up in the morning, our bodies naturally release chemicals and hormones that help us stay awake.
  • When we do something that we enjoy like eating, laughing, exercising, and spending time with people we love, we release serotonin and neurochemicals that improve that experience.

Sometimes it all works amazingly well, but just like the keyboard on a computer, sometimes buttons break. Mental health medications are available to help fix our buttons.

Antidepressants and Other Medications Can Play an Important Role in Treating Mental Disorders and Conditions

Commonly, we hear about antidepressants as a stand-alone treatment for mental health conditions. However, there are many potentially helpful medications in addition to antidepressants for improving mental health. We can break these medications down by their types and the roles they play to help make the best choices for our individual needs.

Common Types of Medications We Might Prescribe and How They Work

Antidepressants: Treat major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and OCD.

Mood stabilizers: Designed to treat bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, seizures, anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, aggression, irritation, migraines, appetite, and cravings.

ADHD medications: Stimulants and non-stimulants that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Antipsychotics: Treat schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and autism.

Among the common types of medications, each of them typically work in one of two ways:

  1. Increase a chemical that makes us feel better
    • Antidepressants
    • Stimulants
    • Some anti-anxiety medications
    • Some antipsychotics
  2. Reduce chemicals that are irritating
    • Antipsychotics
    • Sleeping medications
    • Anxiolytics

medication management and antidepressants

Where To Begin with Exploring Potentially Helpful Medications

Prior to your initial visit, we will have you fill out our intake forms to answer questions about your current issues and situation. During your initial visit, your APRN will assess your symptoms, your diagnosis, your level of function, your physical health, home life, work life, substance use, etc. There are many variables taken into consideration that can affect what medications to recommend and what potentially may help or make things worse.

Medications can affect people in different ways, and it may take several tries to find the medication that works best with the fewest side effects. It’s also important to remember that when medications are used in combination with psychotherapy or other alternative treatments, their efficacy often improves.

As mental health professionals, it is our job to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs and situation, and we take this responsibility very seriously and carefully. We will help you understand the problem, your symptoms, and recommendations for how to improve your quality of life, your mental health, and your overall health and wellness.

Click here to learn more about how we can help you with your medication needs, or call us at 385-272-4292 to make an appointment for evaluation. 

Written by Sarah Kaihau, FNP

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