If you are seeing a Costa Mesa or Orange County therapist for a mental health concern, there may come a time when they suggest that you could benefit from medication. In the state of Texas, psychologists don’t have prescribing authority (because they lack medical training). So, they may let you know it is time to bring in a psychiatrist as a “medication consultant”. This does not mean the psychiatrist should just whip out their prescription pad and order up whatever meds your therapist thinks might work. Your psychologist may have a very good grasp on the nature of your emotional or psychological challenges. However, they may not be fully aware of physical or medical conditions that could have a bearing on whether psychotropic drugs are an appropriate solution.
The Psychiatrist You Pick Matters
You will want to be involved in the selection of a reputable and highly skilled psychiatrist to be part of your treatment team. This should be someone you can communicate and cooperate fully with to create the best treatment plan. This may include undergoing additional medical or psychiatric tests for evaluation. A well-informed and experienced psychiatrist will be on the lookout for all kinds of issues that might impact the choice of medication (or even whether meds are indicated at all). For example:
- You might actually have an undiagnosed medical condition (such as a brain injury) that is causing symptoms that mimic a chemical imbalance or behavioral disorder.
- You might be on other medications that could interfere with or create a dangerous reaction with psychotropic drugs.
- If you have a history of dependency on any substances, extra caution might be needed in selecting medications that are less prone to abuse
Would You Like Meds With That?
Perhaps you already receive your therapeutic mental care from a psychiatrist. Maybe you are on multiple drugs or experiencing troubling side effects from the medications you have been prescribed. It can be very dangerous to simply stop taking psychiatric medications. However, this does not mean you must continue to suffer from medication complications. If you believe you have been overprescribed too many medications, too high of doses, or the wrong medications, you may benefit from having your medication schedule reviewed by another psychiatrist. Just like a patient seeing any other medical specialist, you have the right to get a second opinion!