The Role of Medication

The Role of Medication

The Role of Medication

The intersection between biology and psychology is multi-dimensionally complex, and the decision to take medication is a highly personal one. Certain conditions require medications while other symptoms respond best to psychotherapy. Further still, some problems do well with a combination of both. For example, if you are having visual and/or auditory hallucinations (seeing/hearing things that are not there), medication is appropriate. If you’re having problems with work, family, etc., feeling down about yourself or struggling with self-doubts, psychotherapy works well. If however, you’re going though major clinical depression where it’s hard to get out of bed an bathe, or have panic attacks leading to ER visits for chest pain and dizziness, or severe obsessive-compulsive symptoms such as washing hands 50 times a day, both therapy and medication are ideal. Although medication can provide huge symptomatic relief, it is never a substitute for therapy because medication alone cannot address the underlying reasons for the symptoms. For example, an anti-depressant will help a mildly depressed man regulate better sleep/appetite and restore more pleasure in his life, but it will not fix his long-standing tendency to criticize himself. Similarly, and anxiolytic agent will ease the anxiety of a woman in a volatile, destructive relationship, but it will not resolve her chronic pattern of becoming involved with emotionally abusive and unavailable men.

On principle alone, I am neither pro nor con medication. It can be as useful for one client as it can be useless for another – everybody is unique, and every case needs thorough, careful, consideration. If we decide that medication may be indicated for you, I am happy to work with a psychiatrist or internist on your insurance plan. If you do not have one, I can refer you to a psychiatrist for medication assessment, prescription and management. With your consent, I prefer to regularly communicate with your practitioner to insure you’re receiving coordinated care.