Effective medication options exist for the treatment of most of the major disorders, including major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and psychotic disorders.
It is well known through placebo-controlled trials that medications for mental health disorders reduce or eliminate symptoms. In addition, psychotherapy can be used without medications for patients with mild to moderate disorders. However, medication is an important mainstay of treatment for patients with more severe and/or long-standing mental illness symptoms.
Psychotherapeutic medications control symptoms and restore function, however they do not cure mental illness. In many cases, psychotherapeutic medications can improve daily function despite difficulty coping with problems and mental pain. In addition, psychotherapeutic medications may also make therapy more effective. If an individual is too depressed to talk, they may have difficulty communicating during psychotherapy, but the right medication may improve symptoms so the person can respond. For many individuals, a combination of psychotherapy and medication can be an effective method of treatment.
The degree of response to psychotherapeutic medication ranges from little relief of symptoms to complete relief of symptoms. Furthermore, the degree of response depends on a variety of factors related to the individual and the disorder.
Length of Treatment
The length of treatment for psychotherapeutic medication depends on the individual and the disorder being treated. Individuals that are depressed or anxious may need medication for a short period of time and then never need it again. Some individuals with conditions such as bipolar disorder or psychosis may have to take medication indefinitely.
Psychotherapeutic medications effects individuals differently. Some individuals experience side effects while others do not. Some individuals may respond to one medication better than another. Factors that influence a medication effect include and are not limited to age, gender, body weight, body chemistry, physical illnesses and their medications, diet and smoking.
Dr. DiPierdomenico is highly trained with the various medication options available, and typically she uses the lowest doses of medication possible to restore balanced functioning. Dr. DiPierdomenico will partner with you to deliver a mutually agreed-upon treatment program, whereby some clients are treated with medication management alone, and others with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.