Many clients call for a medication evaluation after months or years of struggling with the decision to try psychiatric medication. You may have thought “I just need to suck it up,” “So many people have it worse” “I can just power through”. You may have been told by therapists over the years that you could benefit from psychiatric medication, “But I work, I have a family, I’m functioning. I’m fine. I don’t have time. etc.” The following are ten common reasons patient’s present for medication assessments.
- You have been told by a therapist or multiple, by another healthcare provider, by a family member of friend that you could benefit from trying medication for your mood.
- You have thought about this decision for weeks, months, or years, with many times being able to talk yourself out of it.
- In the past six months there have been changes in your sleep and eating patterns either increasing in sleep and food consumption or decreasing in sleep and food consumption (weight loss or gain).
- You don’t feel like yourself. Something’s off. You’re more sad, more irritable, more anxious, more tearful, less motivated, less sexual drive, less able to concentrate, having difficulty at work, and your significant other and/or children notice a change in you.
- Hormonal changes can cause increase in depressive and anxiety symptoms- are you menopausal? Are you postpartum? Did you recently stop breast-feeding? Did you start or stop birth control? All of these changes can lead to changes in mood.
- Some one in your immediate family with whom you are genetically linked takes anti-depressants and feels a benefit from them.
- Season changes cause changes in mood. Is Winter always particularly difficult? Is Spring? Are you having more trouble this year “bouncing back”?
- Acute and chronic stress lead to changes in brain chemistry which can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms. Death of a loved one, sudden change in financial situation, divorce, job loss, job stress, traumatic relationships emotionally or physically or sexually. Traumatic childhood abuse over the course of years can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms in adulthood especially if particular memories are triggered.
- New diagnosis of a terminal or chronic medical illness can trigger depressive episodes that present with fatigue and pain in addition to other classic depressive symptoms.
- Anxiety and panic symptoms can be treated effectively with certain anti-depressants. If you have no depressive symptoms but suffer from high anxiety symptoms, social anxiety, panic symptoms more than three times a week, then you may benefit from an anti-depressant.
All of the above reasons generally impact a person’s level of functioning as an individual, as a spouse, parent, and employee or employer. Not everyone needs medication, but if you are suffering and your life is being impacted do not hesitate to call and seek an assessment. Maybe it’s time to not “power through” but to enjoy the journey.