When is does medication become necessary?
Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. But also, sometimes, due to long-standing chronic stressors or due to genetic vulnerability, people just can't derive maximum effect from their therapy, i.e. they can't concentrate or focus on what they need to address, they don't have the energy to make changes, they can't clear their minds from constant negative thoughts, small day to day challenges feel unbearable and at that point, medication may be helpful in terms of providing enough relief for therapy to progress.
Sometimes a person’s negative or unhealthy thought processes or emotions are so rigid, intense or unrealistic that day to day activities become insurmountable. Medication can provide a loosening of the hold of these thoughts and emotions so that you can function and live your life. Medication can be life-saving and liberating in some cases!
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. I can help you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. If you son't feel that you can make the commitment to therapy at this time in your life, most likely, I will prescribe medication for you as long as we try to meet at least once a month for an hour (allows a good check-in), so that I can monitor your response to the medication in the context of what is happening in your life.
I am on a ton of medications and are they all necessary?
The patients I tend to see are complicated and some come to me on so many medications that I am surprised that they can stay upright and speak coherently. This problem occurs for a variety of reasons, but often happens when a person has multiple physicians, a lot of symptoms and lacks a holistic plan for addressing these symptoms. Each doctor's appointment with a new symptom elicits a new medication. My goal is to have you on the least amount of medication necessary so that you can fully experience the rich life I am going to help you develop.
I have a very good working knowledge of most medications and the implications of their medical and psychiatric side effects due to my training in both psychiatry and internal medicine. While I can't change your medical medicines, I can certainly recognize and suspect psychiatric complications from them and I can communicate with your primary care provider to make them aware of this possibility. Additionally, I practice very conservative psychopharmacology which means that I will streamline the medication regimen you are on with a full discussion of side effects and rationale behind each medication, so that you can best direct me as I do this. If medications are changed, tapered or withdrawn, I will follow you very closely and make sure that you know what to expect.
I am no longer seeing patients solely for medication. When I see you, I will expect to work with you closely for several months, weekly or every other week, to work on issues less likely to respond to medication, in addition to monitoring any medication I may prescribe. Of course, you may see another provider or therapist while you are seeing me, but this works best if they are providing something which I don't offer. In this case, we would be very much in contact, working together to provide coordinated care.