Ann LeBaron, PA-C
Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Medication for Mental Health
Discussing treatment for mental health can be difficult for many people. The following information may help guide the process.
Mood disorders have a variety of triggers and can start at any time. Treatment can be talk therapy, medication or both. You might consider medication if therapy alone is not helping enough, your therapist or someone else suggests it, or you prefer medication. If you are not sure medication is right for you, it can be helpful to discuss options with a medication provider.
The following are suggestions to help prepare for an appointment with your medication provider.
Consider jotting some notes ahead of time – so you don’t forget want you want to bring up.
Think about symptoms that interfere with your daily life, work/school or relationships. Try to think about what might have triggered symptoms to start and if you have had similar symptoms in the past. Bring with you a list of current medications and medical history information. Try to find out about your family history of mental health, and if there is/was treatment and what helped.
What are your hopes for treatment? Equally important, what are any concerns about medication?
Common symptoms may include:
- Feeling of sad or hopeless
- Episodes of Irritability or anger over things that would not have upset you in the past.
- Feeling tense, overwhelmed, anxious or unable to relax.
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable or isolating yourself.
- Work or school related performance issues
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Low energy, fatigue, or low motivation
- Unexplained changes in appetite especially if unintended weight loss or gain.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
- Physical symptoms like headaches, pain or digestive issues (without other causes)
- Using substances, legal or illegal, to numb or self-treat your symptoms.
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts. (***If you current thoughts of suicide and/or a plan to end your life or hurt yourself, go to the emergency room)
During the visit with your provider:
Using the information, you have gathered, or concerns others have mentioned, talk to your provider about your symptoms and concerns. Your provider will likely have lots of questions for you too. When done gathering information your provider will likely come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan.
I hope this information smooths your way to a beneficial conversation with a medication provider! If you are interested in medication for mood disorder or mental health, I may be contacted @ 414-329-7000.
Ann LeBaron PA-C