Tips For Success With Mental Health Medication

The decision to take medication for improved mental health can be a difficult one.  However, if your doctor has recommended a medication, you can help to ensure successful treatment with the right approach.  Follow a few simple tips to work with your doctor to find the right balance of medication, dosage, and other treatments for the best quality of life. 

Be Consistent.  Mental health medications work best when they are taken consistently and in direct accordance with your doctor's instructions.  Taking medications properly ensures you give it a chance to work properly for you, and will also help you track any side effects.  This will provide your doctor with accurate information that is needed for proper treatment.

Be Committed.  Finding the right medication, or combination of medications, is a process.  Patient and doctor commitment are vital to finding the medications that work best for you, and while it can be frustrating, you may have to go through some change and adjustments.  Once you have made the decision to pursue medication as part of your overall mental health treatment, it's important to be truly committed to the process and prepared to face some ups and downs. 

Be Patient. Medications can take time to reach full effectiveness, and are rarely a quick fix, particularly when it comes to complex mental health issues.  Give your medication time to work, and don't give up if results are not instant.  Because many mental health medications work on the chemical processes in the brain, they can take up to a month to fully work, and it takes time to see how your body will react to the medication.

Be Honest.  It's important to be honest with your doctor regarding your medications - both the benefits and the side effects you may experience.  It's also vital that you share information about any other sort of treatment you add to the mix on your own.  Natural supplements can affect how medications work, and even interact dangerously, so disclose anything you're taking to your doctor.  Symptoms or side effects that may not seem important can tell your doctor a lot about how the medication is working for you, so keep notes and share them honestly.

Make It Part of The Plan.  Some mental health conditions can be handled with medication alone, but in most cases it's part of an overall treatment plan that includes counseling and regular visits to your doctor.  Look at your medication as part of the plan that will help you have a better quality of life.  Use it in conjunction with other treatments available to you; mental health treatment works best when all of the elements come together.