Is Medication Right For Me?
Deciding whether to take medication for your physical or mental health is like choosing the right career – it requires careful consideration of your strengths, weaknesses, and knowledge. Just like you wouldn’t become a mathematician if thinking about algebra makes you nervous, you shouldn’t rush into it without thinking through all the implications.
Who Are Your Trusted Medical Experts?
Healthcare experts, like our psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs), are your trusted resources to determine if a medication fits your body’s unique chemistry and composition. With a thorough psychiatric evaluation, our PMHNPs can take a holistic look at your health history and current symptoms to tailor a treatment plan that fits your needs.
What Should You Consider Before Taking Medication?
There are thousands of health conditions with just as many medications to treat them. During a medication management appointment, your provider will evaluate different evidence-based treatments, presenting you with the most viable options. Here are some things you should consider to make an informed decision about which medication works best for you.
- Medical Necessity: Is this medication necessary for your condition? How many pills do you already take each day? These are two vital questions to ask before choosing a medication, especially if you have a chronic illness or mental health condition.
- Risks and Benefits: Always consider the risks of a medication, such as side effects or allergic reactions. Your PMHNP will review all of these with you during your appointment. Also, understand the potential benefits of the medication, such as symptom relief or improved quality of life. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- Lifestyle Considerations: Some medications can affect your daily life, requiring a specific dosing schedule, dietary restrictions, or lifestyle modifications. Before you start treatment, consider what changes you’ll have to make to your daily routine and if you’re prepared (and willing) to make the adjustments.
- Monitoring, Adjusting, and Committing: How long will you need to be on the medication? Is it a short-term or long-term solution? How many med management appointments will you have to attend to monitor your progress or adjust your dosage? Think about these questions and more before you commit to a treatment plan with your PMHNP.
- Finances: Whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket, starting a new medication can be expensive. Have the contact information for your insurance company to figure out whether your policy covers it and how much your copay is. If you don’t have insurance or would rather pay privately, know your financial situation and budget if you use your personal funds.
I’m Ready To Start Looking At My Options. What Now?
The decision of whether medication is right for you should be based on a thorough evaluation of your medical condition, discussions with your PMHNP at Balance, and careful considerations of the other lifestyle, financial, and health factors. It’s crucial to be an informed participant in your healthcare decisions and be comfortable with and knowledgeable about how valuable medication is to your health condition.
So, are you ready to start looking at options for medications? Schedule an appointment with our providers by calling 412-467-6410 or filling out this contact form.