Therapy and Medication
Engaging in psychotherapy and/or utilizing psychotropic medications such as antidepressants or anxiety medications are two of the most widely used treatments for mental illness for a reason. They work. Psychotherapy alone in helpful for many, and others find relief by combining the two. It’s important to talk with your mental health provider to create a treatment plan specific to your needs.
If you begin psychotropic medications, be sure to practice compliance. Not taking one’s prescribed psychotropic medications as directed can be dangerous. Abruptly stopping medication once you start feeling better is not advised because your body needs time to adjust to differing levels of the medication.
Often my clients tell me that they don’t take their medications because taking medications means “it’s real.” They don’t want to be labeled as someone with a mental health disorder, and they express fear of being on medication forever. On the contrary, antidepressants often help to expedite the progress of therapy by improving factors such as sleep quality, energy, etc. so that the person can more effectively engage in therapy, successfully use the skills learned there, and ultimately experience overall improvement of symptoms. Once symptoms remit, the medication can be tapered gradually until it is no longer needed, according to the recommendations of the prescriber.