Medication management is often a part of the psychiatric treatment process. There are effective medication options to treat most major disorders. These include major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, and psychotic disorders.
Placebo-controlled trials have shown that medications for these disorders reduce or eliminate symptoms. Additionally, 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. Furthermore, these medications may also make therapy more effective. For example, a person may be too depressed to talk during therapy and communicate effectively. Medication can reduce symptoms, allowing the patient to speak more openly. Alternatively, 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 varies among patients. It may range 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
Treatment length varies based on patients’ needs. The individual’s preferences and diagnosed disorder are important factors. Individuals who 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 effect 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 age, gender, body weight, body chemistry, physical illnesses and other medications, diet, and smoking.
Dr. DiPierdomenico has extensive training in medication management. She also 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. Medication management alone may be enough for some clients. Others will receive a combination of medication and psychotherapy.