psychiatrist discusses medication dosage with patient

Signs It’s Time to Adjust Mental Health Medications

Psychiatric medications are essential to many treatment plans. Antidepressants, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics can provide relief from many different types of mental illnesses. The need for these medications is so great that one out of every six adults in the United States takes some types of medication for their mental health.While psychiatric medications can save lives, they are not always perfect. It can take some trial and error to find the right dosage and type of medicine. Furthermore, patients can experience changes that make their medications less effective than before. Below are some common signs that you may need to make a medication management appointment to address your mental health treatment plan.

You Have Severe Side Effects

Like all medications, psychiatric drugs can cause unwanted side effects. Some of the most common side effects for this type of medication include:

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness

For many people, these side effects only last a few weeks and are relatively mild. However, some people have severe side effects or ones that do not subside. In these cases, patients may feel as though they want to quit the medication altogether. It’s important to keep taking the medications and avoid stopping cold turkey. Quitting suddenly can make things worse. Instead, you should make a medication management appointment and work with a doctor to make a plan. If you have a life-threatening allergic reaction to a medication, seek immediate medical attention and do not take another dose of the medication.

Your Symptoms Get Worse

Naturally, when you start taking medication, you hope that everything will start getting better soon. While many patients find relief with mental health medications, some people do not have such luck on the first try. Some patients actually have worsening symptoms once they start a new medication. If you notice that your previous mental health symptoms get worse or you start developing new symptoms, make a medication management appointment as soon as possible. You should do the same if you have any suicidal ideation while taking a mental health medication.

You Experience Apathy

Despite what many people think, the goal of mental health medication is not to numb a person to all feelings. Instead, psychiatrists hope to help patients find balance. If you find yourself feeling completely apathetic, it could be a sign that your medication is not working correctly. You could need a lower dose or an entirely different class of medication.

The Medication Only Helps a Little Bit

Sometimes, a person’s mental health medication helps take the edge off of some of the symptoms but doesn’t do enough to help them live healthy lives. For example, a person with anxiety may stop having panic attacks, but still feel anxious during daily life. This is a sign that the person may need a higher dose of medication or an additional medication added to their treatment plan.

You Have Completely New Symptoms

If your mental health medication is working well for you when you suddenly start seeing symptoms from an entirely different disorder, it may be a sign that you have a comorbid mental health condition. People with one mental health condition may be more likely to develop related conditions that have different symptoms and treatment options. For example, someone with depression may be more likely to develop anxiety as well. Such a person could be on the perfect antidepressant for them when they start developing symptoms of an anxiety disorder. If you are unhappy with your psychiatric medication for any reason, contact a LifeStance Health psychiatry clinic as soon as possible. Our experienced psychiatrists can help you adjust your treatment plan to fit your unique needs.

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