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Would Medication Help? 

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Mental and behavioral health disorders can be debilitating, driving millions of individuals to seek advice from their doctors. Providers and patients alike need to weigh the potential risks along with the benefits that medication can provide those who suffer from these conditions – which begs the question: would medication help? Xpress Wellness Behavioral Health understands the delicate balance that’s needed to manage mental health medications, along with other solutions to help the effects of medication or how long they’re needed. Find out when and if medication is needed, and how medication management can benefit overall wellness. 

What do mental health medications do? 

The brain is very complex – in fact, it’s the most complicated organ known to mankind. It has delicate and intricate checks and balances, and is responsible for all of our bodily functions. Its ability to create, maintain, store, and comprehend is nothing short of extraordinary. But sometimes these processes get interrupted or impaired, and the reason why isn’t always clear. 

Mental health medications are designed to influence the brain’s chemicals that are responsible for regulating emotions and thought patterns. A human brain that does not suffer from mental health conditions such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety can regulate these chemicals after brief fluctuations in response to stress or fear. But those who suffer from mental or behavioral health conditions need assistance in getting these chemicals back into balance. 

These medications are usually used in conjunction with psychotherapy and certain lifestyle changes to make them more effective. Mental health medications can be used short-term, until a patient is able to gain confidence in using the techniques and tools learned through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or talk therapy, or may be used long-term in some cases. Lifelong treatment with medication is common in certain mental and behavioral health disorders such as bipolar disorder or for other individuals who experience frequent episodes of mania and depression. 

Types of Mental Health Medications 

Mental and behavioral health conditions that cause mild symptoms that don’t interfere with daily routines can usually be managed through the help of primary care providers and routine checkups. But when they become overwhelming, persistent, or start to affect quality of life, behavioral health intervention is often necessary. Mental health medications are oftentimes helpful to help regain peace and balance during a struggle with mental disorders. 

There are several different medications that are used to treat mental and behavioral health disorders. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Antidepressants – Used to treat both depression and some anxiety disorders, they can improve mood, increase energy, and help individuals focus. These medications are not addictive and do not cause drug dependency. Most often, these medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). 
  • Anti-anxiety medications – These medications primarily target generalized anxiety and panic disorders, but may also help in reducing agitation and insomnia in other types of disorders. Long-term anti-anxiety medications are usually SSRIs or SNRIs, but short-term medications can be used to help control panic attacks or severe anxiety. Short-term anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines can cause dependency, so caution needs to be exercised when taking these medications. 
  • Mood stabilizers – Most commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, but are sometimes used to treat depression disorders. 
  • Antipsychotics – Typically used to treat psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, but may also be used in combination with antidepressants to treat depression or other disorders. 

As with any medication, patients and their providers should weigh the potential benefits against the risks of mental health medications before taking them. Some mental health medications can cause minor to severe side effects, which are more common during the first month of starting a new medication. As the mind and body adjust to the medication, these side effects should subside. 

Medication Management with Xpress Wellness Behavioral Health

At Xpress Wellness, we have therapists and psychologists available for counseling, and advanced practice providers specifically trained in assessing mental health problems. These providers can prescribe psychiatric medications and evaluate medication options through virtual visits. Schedule a behavioral health consultation to begin a journey of overall wellness that comes from sound health – both mind and body.

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