medication-management

How to Know If Medication Management is For You

You may be struggling with a mental health condition that interferes greatly with your life. Or you may simply need some consistent support right now. Medication can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms to help you manage your life and emotions well.

Appropriately trained mental health professionals are aware of what medications will help you, depending on your mental health condition and its severity. With medication management, you will be evaluated on what medications are most likely to aid you, provided a prescription,  and afforded medical monitoring if you decide to use them.

Still, even with experts in your corner, medication management is nothing to take lightly. It’s important to have the facts. Here is how you can determine if medication management is the right course for you.

How Medication Management Works

Medication is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement. Just because something works for you does not mean it will work for other people. A nurse practitioner or a psychiatrist will help you find the right medication after performing an evaluation for you.

Your clinician will also assess and inform you  of the following:

  • Your mental health condition
  • The reason for trying a medication
  • Medication goals
  • Potential side effects
  • Potential risks

During your appointment, let your clinician know about any allergies you have and any medications or supplements you are currently taking. After starting a new medication, your clinician will keep a close eye on you to see if the medication is working as intended.

Your clinician will also make sure that the side effects you are experiencing are not so severe that they interfere with your life. While the point of taking medication is to experience some measure of relief, do be patient as you work together to find the right medicinal balance for your brain and body. Your clinician will work with you to find the right fit.

Medication Management is For You…

If You Have Trouble Understanding Your Medication

You may know what medication to take and what does, but have less understanding regarding its purpose and side effects. With a medication management plan, your clinician will be able to address these issues.

Medication management can teach you exactly what your medicine is good for. Additionally, you can assess the risks knowledgeably. As you become more involved and comfortable with medication management, you will likely feel more confident and in control of your own care.

If You Feel Your Medication is Not Working

You may be taking the right medication in the way your clinician tells you to, but find you are experiencing health complications. Or you may feel that your medication is not working well now after a period of success.

A medication clinician can work with you to make sure you are taking your medicine correctly to decrease your risks of complications. They can also help you find other options should the need arise.

If You Experience Severe Symptoms

There are mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression that cause concerning reactions in your brain and body. These symptoms can make it hard to function, distorting your view of the world.

Certain medications help relieve these issues by affecting neurotransmitters in specific parts of the brain. You may feel much more at ease knowing these medications are available and can be regulated with the help of medical management support.

Expertise and Guidance Matter When It Comes to Medication

Is medication management the right choice for you? Let’s find out together. We have helped many clients heal through a healthy combination of talk therapy and the appropriate medications.  Read more about medication management here and contact us soon for a consultation.

With medication management, you can initiate a regimen that helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

medication-management

Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About Medication Management for Mental Health

All forms of science and medicine are evolving. This means staying one to new developments and concepts. Unfortunately, thanks to social media and social norms, we can get stuck in certain belief patterns. A clear example of this has to do with the many myths swirling around medication management for mental health. It’s an area overloaded with confusion and stigmas.

To follow, I’ll discuss and debunk some of the more common myths. But keep in mind, it’s always important to keep an open mind when it comes to medicine. Knowledge shifts and thus, so do recommendations. Stay updated and informed!

Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About Medication Management for Mental Health

1. The Stigma

If you have digestive issues, you’d probably feel okay with trying some kind of medication to ease the symptoms. With mental health, however, society has constructed many a stigma. Choosing medication for a mental health disorder, to some, is a sign of weakness. You can handle the “normal” stresses of life like other people. Wrong.

If your feet hurt when you walk, you’d say yes to using an insert in your shoes. Let’s take this in the direction of mental health. If your brain needs some help keeping the proper balance of hormones and chemicals to keep you healthy, why would it be weird to seek assistance?

2. Medications Are Magic

When managing your mental health, quite often the goal is to decrease the impact of symptoms. It’s not a magic pill. Medication will not work alone. You will need to make lifestyle changes. You will also need to work with a skilled therapist. Being prescribed a pill is not the end of your journey. More likely, it is the start. When entering into mental health medication management, stay focused on the long-term and the big picture. Medicine is just one part of the program.

3. The Side Effects Are Overwhelming

Any medication contains the risk of side effects. With mental health medications, this risk can be greater because it involves brain chemistry. So, for starters, let’s clarify: They will not change who you are. Of course, certain behaviors and thought patterns may shift over time. But that’s why you’re taking the pills in the first place. Your therapist can be an immense help in parsing out such side effects.

But remember, you are the captain of your ship. You decide which meds you try. You decide if the side effects are not an acceptable trade-off. To get back to the theme of this post, it helps to stay open to new ideas and input.

4. One Size Fits All

With both medication and therapy, treatment is a personalized process. Each of us has unique characteristics that can influence how a medication works for us. Keep in mind:

  • There is little value in comparing your experience with a drug to anyone else’s experience
  • It can take time to find the right medication, dosage, and balance
  • Talk with your therapist about developing patience and flexibility with this process

5. It’s a Never-Ending Commitment

Far from it. Everyone’s path is different but mental health medication is not automatically ongoing. Plus, you are ultimately the arbiter of that decision. That said, never discontinue any medication without proper supervision. If you feel better, that’s wonderful. But you must still consult with your physician and therapist before making any change.

Take-Home Messages

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you get all sides to every topic. An excellent starting point on this quest is to speak with a therapist. If any of the above resonated with you,  read more about medication management, and let’s connect for a safe and confidential consultation soon.

Charlotte Szabo, DNP, PMHFNP-BC, APRN charlotte@affinitypsych.com

Charlotte Szabo, DNP, PMHFNP-BC, APRN

charlotte@affinitypsych.com

Hello! I’m Charlotte, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. When medication is a part of your overall plan to manage and improve your mental health, I’m your person.

Throughout my life I have lived in different countries, and these unique people-experiences have allowed me to incorporate a more comprehensive, accepting, empathetic, and holistic approach to my practice. I speak 4 languages (Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, and English) fluently and enjoy so much connecting on a linguistic level – other than English – when possible.

I enjoy working with a wide variety of patients, from those who have trouble dealing with stress to the most serious and challenging combinations of psychiatric disorders. My extensive work experience ranges from the hospital setting to the Psychiatry Lead at the University of Minnesota’s Community Health Care Center (CUHCC), to varying outpatient clinical practices with a wide scope of patients from different age, ethnic, sexual, and socio-economic backgrounds. As a registered health care practitioner in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Registry, I also register patients who might benefit from medical marijuana after having had unsuccessful trials with traditional psychotropic medications.




How I Work

“The glue that holds all relationships together….is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” This maxim by Brian Tracy is at my core, and because of that I work best with patients who genuinely want to get better. I invest a lot of effort, thought, and knowledge into each one of my patients and get the best results when there is an investment from you as well. A comment that I get often from my patients is that they feel that I sincerely care about them. And they’re right – because I treat each person, who comes to me looking for help in feeling better about their lives, as if they were one of my family members. (Just fyi, I’m from a Hungarian family and I’m the oldest of 9 – so being treated like family is kind of BIG!). A comment I get from my colleagues is that I will bend over backwards for my patients and go out of my way for them. Yes! I do! Because if you’re willing to make the courageous step to reach out for mental health help, then I will be there on the other end reaching for you to help break the cycle of mental illness.


What Sets Me Apart As a Psychiatric Provider?

How many times have you felt a divide between them (the medical professionals) and you (the patient)? I don’t have a problem with the cold temps in Minnesota, but the frigid gap I do have a problem with. When we work together you will find yourself in an environment in which things are warm, authentic, and open. If you’re looking for a formal, superficial “white coat doctor” approach to manage your medications – that’s not me. I believe that knowledge, expertise, and excellence in how one treats their patients is not based in a sense of superiority. I will answer the most “I feel embarrassed to ask this” questions to the most intricate questions related to your medication plan. I don’t stop at figuring out the best medication regimen for you – I dig DEEP to figure out what solution(s) might be best for you. My passion lies in system level changes to better my patients’ lives, therefore I will always offer you my $0.02. And, I will always add, it is up to you which way you choose to proceed. Because ultimately it is your life, your body, your decision.



Call, Text, or Email to schedule

Issues I Treat:

  • ADHD
  • Alcohol Use
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Chronic Impulsivity
  • Codependency
  • Coping Skills
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Family Conflict
  • Gambling
  • Grief
  • Infidelity
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Life Transitions
  • Obesity
  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Parenting
  • Peer Relationships
  • Pregnancy, Prenatal, Postpartum
  • Relationship Issues
  • School Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Self-Harming
  • Sleep or Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Weight Loss
  • Women’s Issues

Populations I Serve:

  • Adults
  • Adolescents / Teenagers
  • Children (5+)
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Helping Professionals
  • Marginalized Populations

Professional background:



Education

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
    Doctorate of Nursing Practice, graduated with honors

  • University of California, San Francisco, CA
    Psychiatric Mental Health Family Nurse Practitioner
    Master of Science in Nursing, graduated with honors

  • Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA
    RN and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, magna cum laude
  • Holy Names University, Oakland, CA
    Summa cum laude

Licensure

  •  Minnesota / CNP 1890

Certification

  • ANCC – Board Certification / 2012011414