In today’s blog we’re going to talk about medication and the way it benefits the therapeutic process. A lot of people believe that managing their mental health comes down to a choice between medication and regular therapy services, but a lot of people find a balance by utilizing both! The choice to start medication to manage mental health symptoms is a personal choice and everyone approaches medication differently. Some clients begin therapy at the same time as they begin medication, some start one before the other, and some try one for a while before adding the other. Whatever combination works for you, just know that your therapist is supporting you wholeheartedly.
When we talk about the stigma in the mental health field, we can’t ignore the stigma around taking daily medication to manage mental health symptoms. It can feel like you’re using a crutch or cause frustration because you believe that you shouldn’t need medication. I’m here with a simple reminder that there isn’t any shame in taking medication that helps you navigate the challenges life throws your way. It’s a personal choice that can be based on a variety of factors, but you shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting to try a different approach to managing your mental health.
So, how does medication benefit the therapy process? It can help stabilize clients that are at high-risk for suicide, it can decrease day-to-day symptoms of anxiety or depression you might be feeling, and it can even help you focus on processing trauma instead of feeling as though your sessions are mainly crisis management. Therapy and medication can work together to speed up the healing process.
There can be a lot of frustration that comes with finding the right medication that works for you the same way that it can be frustrating to find a therapist that fits your specific needs. When approaching the idea of starting medication, you can always ask your provider questions. The cliche “there are no stupid questions” applies to this as well! I would recommend asking about the potential side effects of the medication, when you can expect to feel the medication begin to work, and if there are any withdrawal symptoms if you decide the medication isn’t working for you and you need to switch.
The important thing to remember is to advocate for yourself and your needs. Whether that means requesting a different therapist or a specific medication to try – your needs come first.
While Mindsight doesn’t prescribe medication directly, we have trusted agencies that we refer our clients to! If you’re wondering about the process of requesting medication, talk to your therapist today!
P.S. - If you want to see people openly discussing their journey with medication, check out the hashtag #PostYourPill on Instagram!
P.S.S. - If you’re worried about trying medication and having to try multiple medications until you find the right one, ask your provider about Genesight testing! This testing can let your provider know which medications will work best for you!
Shelby Case is a clinician offering in-person sessions at our Louisville office or telehealth sessions! She strives to make long-lasting connections with her clients in order to facilitate positive change. As a well-known homebody, Shelby enjoys living a cozy life outside of her time working by focusing on hobbies, spending time with her spouse, getting overly invested in TV shows, or cuddling with one of her cats.