Mental and Behavioral Health Medication Management
Sometimes when patients present with difficulties that are causing some degree of functional impairment, the adjunctive prescription of psychotropic medication (antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, etc.) may be indicated. In these instances patients are seen by the psychiatrists for an initial medication evaluation, or may be referred by a counselor of psychologist when the condition is severe enough to merit this intervention. If medication is prescribed, patients will be scheduled for follow-up medication management appointments for the duration of the period that they remain on psychotropic medication. Psychiatric medication services may be provided to patients indefinitely if needed.
Generally, a psychotropic medication is prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy. Psychiatrists generally do not prescribe medication for patients who are receiving psychotherapy at locations outside of their practice, but often exceptions are made and even the psychiatrist may chose to also become the psychotherapist.
In a small percentage of cases, medication may be prescribed without a patient’s involvement in concurrent psychotherapy. Generally, this is done in relation to more chronic conditions where a patient has previously received psychotherapy and needs only to remain on psychotropic medication for continued symptom management and relapse prevention.
Psychiatric medication management requires a complete understanding of the patient’s current and past medical status, and may involve in some cases a focal physical examination, laboratory work or even imaging studies.