Psychiatric medications are used to treat a range of mental health disorders, from depression to ADHD to anxiety. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all approach to medication assisted treatments. The medications that work for some people may not work for others, and vice versa. Understanding this can help you understand the psychiatric process.
The right prescription can provide much-needed relief from the symptoms of many mental health conditions. But understanding the challenges behind finding the right medication for each patient, and why some medications work for some people and not others, can let you know what to expect from the process. It can also provide reassurance that a solution is available, even if the first medications do not work.
What Determines the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Medication
Of the many reasons that some medications are ineffective for certain people, scientists have identified 3 clear ones while they continue researching additional causes:
- Lack of Clear Indicators – With many physical health conditions, there are visual symptoms, such as an X-ray that shows a broken bone. Most mental health conditions rely on the patient’s interpretation of their symptoms. It simply is not as precise, and more work may be required to arrive at a diagnosis and determine the correct medication.
- Wrong Diagnosis – Because there are few biological markers of psychiatric illness and many conditions have overlapping symptoms, the first diagnosis you receive may not cover all of your symptoms, and the corresponding medication will not be completely effective. Being honest and comprehensive about all of your symptoms, even if they do not seem to relate, can help your psychiatrist make the right diagnosis.
- Different Biology – The official word for this is pharmacokinetics, and it refers to the way the body metabolizes a medication. All patients will have a different biological make up, including body fat percentage and fluid that conveys medicines through the body. These pharmacokinetics impact the dosage, and the manufacturer’s recommended dose will not work for everyone. Your psychiatrist may prescribe varying doses until you both find the correct one for your body.
If you have had limited success with psychiatric medication in the past and the symptoms of your mental health condition have persisted, Aware Behavioral Health may be able to help. Dr. Sehdev uses his expertise and personal attention to design a mental health care plan built around your specific symptoms.
Our approach is flexible and adjustable. Whenever we prescribe medication, we follow up to make sure it is the best fit for you, improving symptoms without unmanageable side effects. If there are problems, Dr. Sehdev works with you until you are feeling your best. Other treatments we offer, like TMS therapy for depression, can also offer relief where medication has not worked.