What To Do? Medication or Therapy? Or Both?
Some folks do therapy. Some folks take medication. Some do both! Both therapy and medication have benefits! How do you know which mix is right for you?
1) Consult with a therapist and be assessed for mental health concerns and mental illness. Personal distress, impairment in functioning, and abnormality of your personal symptoms all play into amount, frequency, therapeutic relationship and experiences of therapy! We have evidence-based therapeutic treatments that improve mental health symptoms for folks!
1a) Therapy utilizes a therapeutic relationship and psychological theories to build skills to manage thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and resilience. Alone, therapy can absolutely support mental health goals and resilience.
2) Consult with a medical professional (psychiatrist, APRN, primary care physician) and be assessed for medication possibilities. Again, severity, frequency, duration, impairment, distress, and abnormality of personal symptoms are all considered when deciding on medication. Pharmacogenetic testing, also called DNA Drug Sensitivity Testing, is the testing of certain genes to determine how individuals will react to specific medications, with a simple spit test.
2a) Medication is a biological intervention focusing on neurotransmitters, chemicals in our brains, and brain structures. Medication alone can be a game changer and may be necessary. Some mental illness is progressive, chronic, and harmful without medication management.
3) Therapy + Meds! You get a combination of benefits. The meds balance chemical structures, while therapy builds coping skills, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and helps overcome self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. Often, clients find the medication can bring them to a point of stability that allows therapeutic tools to take hold effectively!
I TAKE MEDS & GET THERAPY. Mental health matters. Mental illness isn’t a choice. It’s a complex manifestation of genes & environment. Nothing about medication or therapy indicates personal failure, weakness, unworthiness, or lacking. Just like medication and physical therapy for our bodies, medication and counseling for our minds is smart!
Therapy and tacos for all,