Aspects of Medication in Recovery
Being able to talk honestly with the doctor about medication.
This is extremely important. Everyone needs a doctor who listens respectfully to concerns and who will work together to find a personalized treatment plan.
When selecting a new physician, someone on the treatment team such as a social worker or therapist, or possibly even a local advocacy organization like the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Mental Health America, may be able to provide guidance, recommendations, and introductions.
It may be useful to chat with the doctor on the phone and conduct a mini phone “interview” with him or her to see if he or she is compatible. Remember, building a relationship with the doctor takes time and doesn’t usually happen overnight.
Learning about medication.
Understanding why and how medication works can help people with mental health conditions make an informed decision about taking it. It’s important to be able to ask the doctor questions about medication and its possible side effects. Remember, the person with the mental health condition plays a central role in all treatment decisions and recovery plans.
Asking the doctor about new medication options.
Scientists are conducting ongoing research into new options for the treatment of serious mental health conditions. That’s why it is important to regularly ask the doctor about new medication and delivery options that may be appropriate. To find out about options that might be appropriate, don’t be shy – talk to the doctor.
Sticking with a healthy lifestyle routine.
A routine that includes healthy behaviors, such as eating and sleeping well, getting exercise (if the doctor says it’s okay), psychotherapy, and taking medication regularly and appropriately as prescribed by the doctor, can help a person manage symptoms and stay on track with the recovery plan.
Accepting support from members of the recovery team.
The people on the recovery team, including caregivers, family members, friends, and social workers, can listen to concerns and provide whatever type of support is needed. If desired, they can go along to doctor’s appointments, ask about new medication options and potential benefits and side effects, and help come up with a medication strategy that is appropriate and works well for the person living with the mental health condition.