For many individuals that live with mental health conditions, medication plays an essential role in symptom relief and quality of life.
Let’s discuss the effective management of your mental health medications.
Psychiatric Medications: What to Do and What Not to Do
Psychiatric medication saves lives. However, managing mental health treatment is a delicate process that requires professional guidance. Medications can have powerful effects on the mind and body, and there’s a lot that can go wrong if treatment is mishandled.
Follow these tips to use your mental health meds safely and effectively.
Educate Yourself on the Medication You’re Prescribed
It’s important to understand and feel comfortable with the medications you take. Discuss your questions and concerns with your doctor, and do additional research on your own.
Let your mental health prescriber know about all of your medical conditions and medications. Some of these might affect the safety and effectiveness of your mental health treatment.
Once you begin taking a psychiatric medication, let your doctor know right away if you experience any troubling side effects.
Don’t Take Medication Other Than as Prescribed
Follow all directions on your medication’s pharmaceutical label. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have if the medication instructions are confusing or unclear.
Refill Prescriptions Before They Expire or Run Out
Many medications require a daily dose. Withdrawal side effects can occur quickly, so it’s best to avoid ever running out.
Whenever you’re running low on your current prescription, call in a refill. Plan ahead to avoid ever completely running out of a medication.
Make a Plan for What to Do if You Run Out of Your Medication
In case you do ever run out of a prescription, be ready with an action plan. Depending on the urgency of the situation, your strategies may include:
- Calling your doctor
- Asking your pharmacy for an emergency refill
- Visiting the emergency room
Ask Someone to Be Your Accountability Partner
You don’t have to be a perfect patient. You might face hard times that make it difficult to keep up with your treatment plan.
One of the best strategies for dealing with the ups and downs of mental health is to stay accountable to a trusted loved one.
Ask a close friend or family member to check in with you regularly to make sure you’re taking your medication. Check-ins should be regularly scheduled and shouldn’t stop during periods of stability. That way, check-ins are friendly and easy, and don’t feel judgmental or threatening.
Make Medication Part of Your Daily Routine
Take your medication at consistent times each day.
Build your meds schedule around specific times (e.g. 4:00) or before, during, or after specific activities (e.g. during breakfast or at bedtime).
Ask your doctor if there are better or worse times to take your medications. Some may positively or negatively affect your sleep if taken at certain times.
Use a pill organizer to keep track of your doses. This simple tool is a must-have for any daily med-taker.
Don’t Stop Taking Medication Without Guidance From Your Doctor
Stopping medication use suddenly or prematurely can result in dangerous consequences. Many psychiatric medications require a progressive weaning process to avoid withdrawal and enable monitoring of mental health changes.
Abruptly quitting psychiatric medications can make you physically ill. Your mental health may also experience a sharp decline.
If you’re curious about getting off of a medication, talk to your doctor. Continue taking your prescribed dose until your doctor approves a different course of action.
Store Your Medication in a Cool and Dry Area
To keep medication in peak condition, keep your pill bottles somewhere cool and dry. Don’t store meds in the bathroom, the car, or anywhere else that might be subjected to extreme temperatures or excessive moisture.
Get Mental Health Treatment in South Florida
Compassion Behavioral Health is a mental health and substance abuse treatment center located in South Florida. We serve a national client base.
Levels of care include:
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient program
Call Compassion Behavioral Health at (844) 999-0874 to learn how we can help you or a loved one manage mental health care. Our admissions counselors are available 24/7 for 100% confidential consultation.