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What kind of treatment is provided? Do psychiatrists only give out medication?

Our Psychiatry staff conduct assessments to determine the best treatment plan and can prescribe medication for psychiatric illnesses and other situations requiring medication intervention. Psychotropic medications are useful and appropriate for some conditions, such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. However, they are not necessary in every case.
Psychiatrists are trained to deal with the psychological and interpersonal aspects of difficulties, as well as prescription of medication. Often, therapy and/or a change in a life situation is the appropriate intervention.

What questions should I ask about my medication?

  • What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?

  • How and when do I take it, and when do I stop taking it?

  • What if I miss a dose?

  • What foods, drinks, or other medications should I avoid while taking the prescribed medication?

  • Should it be taken with food or on an empty stomach?

  • Is it safe to drink alcohol while on this medication?

  • What are the side effects, and what should I do if they occur?

  • Is there some printed information about the medication available?

  • What are my options?

What other kinds of clinicians can assess and treat mental health conditions?

In addition to psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners have special training in treating mental health conditions. General physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners may also treat the most common mental health conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression). Psych Care employs psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

Will I be on medication forever?

Not necessarily. Each client and treatment plan is unique so how long you may take medication will be determined between you and your psychiatrist. It is common for some clients to take medication during a particularly difficult time so that they are able to experience improved functioning while they are working on emotional and behavioral struggles during therapy. Once symptoms improve, the medication plan can be re-evaluated.

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