Medication can be a powerfully useful tool for managing mental health conditions. Careful prescription, monitoring, and adjustment are crucial when optimizing medicines in adolescent patients.
A range of effective medications is helping people reduce and control the symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood and attention deficit disorders, and other mental health conditions. Maintenance medications can improve one’s quality of life when paired with talk therapy and a healthy regimen of self-care and regular medical care. While medicines are widely used and safe when taken appropriately, a thorough diagnosis is especially important before prescribing them for adolescent patients.
Parents are rightly cautious about medicating their children's mental health conditions. Medications should be prescribed judiciously and only after an accurate diagnosis to improve quality of life while reducing potential side effects. Some patients and certain conditions respond better to long-term medical manageent. Others can reduce the use of medications as they find non-medical ways of maintaining good mental health.
— Dr. Cutter
Young patients benefit from regular medication management. Growing bodies require changing dosages or medicines. It may be difficult for adolescent patients to report changes that could signal adverse side-effects or reactions. Ensuring that teens are not misusing other substances while taking prescription medication is essential to prevent adverse drug interactions and overdose. Psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists that specialize in monitoring and managing medication should become a regular part of ongoing adolescent care.
In some cases, discontinuing the use of medications is the best approach. Some people may be taking medicines based upon initial diagnosis, or their conditions have changed since beginning treatment. In some cases, helping people taper off of a particular medication helps establish a baseline from which to reevaluate a diagnosis. Reducing the number of medicines a patient is taking can sometimes be the best course of action if a diagnosis has changed, or if a different type of medication is indicated through additional assessment.
Turnbridge believes in using medications only when necessary, and prescribing and monitoring judiciously. The best outcomes are often the ones in which patients can manage mental health conditions without the use of medication. Using techniques learned through cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychoeducation, maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and addressing sources of stress or dysphoria can often reduce the symptoms of these conditions to a manageable level.