When someone who struggles with poor mental health decides to get help, it can be a scary process. Telling someone you need assistance and specialized care to feel better is a brave move but can feel intimidating. For many, the idea of going on medication makes them uneasy. This may be because they have never tried it before or they used meds before which did not help. New View Wellness in Atlanta explores the common question many people have: “Do I need medication to manage my mental health?” to help you decide what is right for you.

When Do I Need Medication For My Mental Health?

There isn’t one answer to this question that fits everyone. For many people, medication becomes important to use when they first seek help from a physician or begin talk therapy. Other people prefer to try therapy and other treatment modalities before introducing prescription medications to their treatment plans. The bottom line is that if a person cannot achieve real relief from their symptoms without medication, then it’s important to explore their options. This can happen when someone becomes overwhelmed by their mental illness and needs medications to rise above insurmountable difficulties. It can also be time to try meds when a person has achieved some relief from their mental health disorder but wants to improve on their results.

What Types of Medications Are Used to Treat Mental Health Disorders?

The answer to, “Do I need medication to manage my mental health?” should include understanding what types of meds are available. The most common types of prescription medications include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Tranquilizers
  • Stimulants
  • Antipsychotics

Keep in mind that some medications for mental health treatment are meant to be taken for a short time only, while others work better when used for a long time. In some cases, such as with schizophrenia, the medications will likely be needed to be taken for life.

How Do I Make a Decision About Taking Mental Health Medications?

Having good mental health is as important as enjoying good physical health. In both cases, sometimes taking medications helps people improve their symptoms or overcome a condition entirely. While some stigma remains related to taking medications for mental health disorders, as a country, much progress has been made. In fact, approximately 15% of adults in the U.S. take prescription medications to help manage their mental health. 

Part of determining the answer to, “Do I need medication to manage my mental health?” lies in understanding your diagnosis and specific symptoms. The first rule of thumb is to talk to a medical professional or a therapist who can refer you to someone who can prescribe medications. Have a discussion about what illness you have and the types of symptoms that occur. Together, you can make a decision about whether or not to try using medications. 

Questions to find answers to include:

  • Do I have a formal diagnosis?
  • Do I understand the exact symptoms I have that relate to my illness?
  • Have I tried therapy by itself and found it doesn’t provide enough relief?
  • What results can I anticipate if I take medications?
  • Am I willing to make any necessary changes in my lifestyle to help the medications be effective? (diet, not using alcohol or drugs, etc.)
  • Am I willing to have regular check-ins with my medication provider to determine if any changes are needed in the dosage or type of medication?

What Types of Therapy Help Treat Mental Illness?

Medications can be used to complement several different types of therapy to help improve a person’s mental health. Each person should receive an evaluation when they begin treatment to determine which therapy modalities will best suit their specific needs. Common types of therapy used to improve the symptoms of mental health disorders include:

What Levels of Treatment Programs Offer Medications?

Another concern people have who wonder, “Do I need medication to manage my mental health?” is what types of programs offer them. Residential programs often prescribe medications to help people minimize their symptoms, but they are also commonly used in outpatient treatment. Outpatient programs can be used as follow-up treatment after going to a residential center or as the sole source of support. Outpatient programs include Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), which can also take place in a virtual environment. A higher level of outpatient care is Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). Some facilities offer mental health services directly designed to help meet the needs of teenagers who experience depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other types of mental illnesses.

Get Treatment For Mental Health in Atlanta Today

If you are on the brink of seeking the right help for a condition like anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders, you may be wondering, “Do I need medication to manage my mental health?” At New View Wellness in Atlanta, we recognize that you are an individual with your own experiences and symptoms. As a result, we tailor your treatment to meet your needs. This includes helping you make a decision about whether or not to use medications to help you heal. Whether you just need therapy or you can also benefit from using meds, we can help you learn to take control of your mental health and feel better. 

Visit our admissions page now and start a conversation with us about medication options in our program.