• medication-management-psychopharmacology

    Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued

    - Socrates

  • Medication Management – Psychopharmacology

    Anyone can develop an emotional or mental illness — you, a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. Some disorders are mild, while others are serious and long-lasting. These conditions can be diagnosed and treated. Most people can live better lives after treatment. And psychotherapeutic medications are an increasingly important element in the successful treatment of emotional or mental illness.

    Medications for emotional illnesses were first introduced in the early 1950s with the antipsychotic chlorpromazine. Other medications have followed including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, cognitive enhancers, and anti-anxiety and anti-panic agents. These medications have changed the lives of people with these disorders for the better.

    Psychotherapeutic medications also may make other kinds of treatment more effective. Someone who is too depressed to talk, for instance, may have difficulty communicating during psychotherapy or counseling, but the right medication may improve symptoms so the person can respond. For many clients, a combination of psychotherapy and medication can be an effective method of treatment.

    Another benefit of these medications is an increased understanding of the causes of emotional and mental illness. Scientists have learned much more about the workings of the brain as a result of their investigations into how psychotherapeutic medications relieve the symptoms of disorders such as psychosis, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.

    Just as aspirin can reduce a fever without curing the infection that causes it, psychotherapeutic medications act by controlling symptoms and restoring function. Psychotherapeutic medications do not cure mental illness, but in many cases, they can help a person function despite some continuing mental pain and difficulty coping with problems. For example, drugs like Seroquel can turn off the "voices" heard by some people with psychosis and help them to see reality more clearly. And antidepressants can lift the dark, heavy moods of depression. The degree of response — ranging from a little relief of symptoms to complete relief — depends on a variety of factors related to the individual and the disorder being treated.

    How long someone must take a psychotherapeutic medication depends on the individual and the disorder. Many depressed and anxious people may need medication for a single period of time — perhaps for several months — and then never need it again. People with conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness), or those individuals whose depression or anxiety is chronic or recurrent, may have to take medication indefinitely.

    Like any medication, psychotherapeutic medications do not produce the same effect in everyone. Some people may respond better to one medication than another. Some may need larger dosages than others. Some have side effects, and others do not. Age, sex, body size, body chemistry, physical illnesses and their treatments, diet, and habits such as smoking are some of the factors that can influence a medication’s effect.

    We are living in a time of exciting and revolutionary understanding of how stress affects brain function. Psychiatry has recently documented that numerous environmental stresses can alter the way that genes behave and express themselves in brain cells, which in turn affect brain cell energy levels and metabolism, and ultimately determine how brain circuits that regulate mood, thought, and anxiety are negatively affected.

    Potomac Psychiatry’s physicians are highly trained and familiar with the different medication options available, and typically we use the lowest doses of medication possible to restore balanced functioning. We partner with you to deliver a mutually agreed-upon treatment program, whereby some clients are treated with medication management alone, and others with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

    Read more about medication management practices for children & adolescents and medication management for seniors.

     


     

    At Potomac Psychiatry our psychiatrists  specialize in psychiatric medication management issues.

    Call us at 301.984.9791 to discuss your needs or to schedule an appointment.

    Our offices are conveniently accessible from the following communities:

    Maryland (MD):
    Bethesda 20814 - Bethesda 20816 - Bethesda 20817 - Chevy Chase 20815 - Colesville 20904 - Cabin John 20815 - Glen Echo 20812 - Gaithersburg 20855 - Gaithersburg 20877- Gaithersburg 20878 - Gaithersburg 20879 - Garrett Park 20896 - Kensington 20895 - Montgomery Village 20886 - Olney 20830 - Olney 20832 - Potomac 20854 - Potomac 20859 - Rockville 20850 - Rockville 20852 - Rockville 20853 - Silver Spring 20903 - Silver Spring 20905 - Silver Spring 20906 - Silver Spring 20910 - Takoma Park 20912 - Wheaton 20902

    Washington DC:
    Crestwood 20011- North Capitol Hill 20002 - Cathedral Heights 20016 - American University Park 20016 - Columbia Heights 20010 - Mount Pleasant 20010 - Downtown 20036 - Dupont Circle 20009 - Logan Circle 20005- Adams Morgan 20009 - Chevy Chase 20015 - Georgetown 20007 - Cleveland Park 20008 - Foggy Bottom 20037 - Rock Creek Park - Woodley Park 20008 - Tenleytown 20016

    Northern Virginia:
    McLean 22101- McLean 22102 - McLean 22106 - Great Falls 22066 - Arlington 22201 - Arlington 22202 - Arlington 22203 - Arlington 22205 - Falls Church 22041 - Vienna 22181 - Alexandria 22314