There are situations where the best thing to help you manage your mental health is medication. For example, ADHD can be a lifelong but manageable condition, and there are outstanding medications that can make it easier to live with an ADHD diagnosis.
But there are other situations where medication isn’t about managing your symptoms in the long term. There are situations where the purpose of medication is to give you a much needed break, and then either you can see how you’re coping on your own or consider psychotherapy to help you manage your symptoms without medication.
A Much Needed Break
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions are challenging. They are also often self-sustaining. For example, one of the symptoms of panic attacks is self-monitoring with hypersensitivity. People with panic disorder frequently monitor their body for sensations that indicate a panic attack is coming, and then experience that sensation more powerfully, thus triggering the panic attack.
This cycle of anxiety and depression are why, even though psychotherapy is extremely effective for long term management of mental health disorders, it may not be able to provide relief *now*. For someone that finds themselves struggling with these conditions, the absence of immediate relief can make it difficult to live their life. It can even make it harder for therapy to be effective.
Mental health medication is designed to provide this much needed relief, because sometimes, that relief is what you need most. Patients that find themselves struggling with anxiety and depression daily often find that what they need at that moment, more than anything, is a break from the symptoms. Patients that struggle with recurring panic attacks, for example, sometimes come to our psychiatric office wanting nothing more than a break from these attacks. That’s what medication provides.
Next Steps – A Break, then Back to Work
Medication doesn’t mean the problem is over. It is not necessarily meant to be something you take for the rest of your life (depending on the condition and the discussions between you and the psychiatrist). It just gives you that much needed break that helps you feel like you’re back in control.
Once you have that break, you can then take on the next steps with your treatment, whether it’s psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, or something else, and you’ll be more refreshed and ready to take on whatever you face next.
If you’re in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, contact Aware Behavioral Health today to talk about medications, psychotherapy, and more.