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Meds or No?

Many clients who come to see me are curious about whether or not they should "get on something" to manage the symptoms they're experiencing: obsessions, inability to sleep, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, debilitating anxiety, an inability to focus, etc.

As an LMFT and an LPC I do not have the authority to prescribe meds, but I am educated in how psychotropic meds generally work and I have lots of experience helping clients figure out what they need. So here's my two cents: sometimes meds are helpful and sometimes they are not—know the research before you decide and be aware that Big-Pharma marketing likely influences your feelings about meds.

I have witnessed many clients report significant relief from utilizing meds in an acute fashion, meaning they take meds for a short time when their symptoms are severe (such as not being able to work, care for themselves, connect with others, or are on the verge of hurting themselves). But most of my clients do not report a long-term improvement in their symptoms after taking psychotropic meds as the sole treatment. And in fact, some research suggests they may even feel worse.

There are also many non-invasive interventions (such as psychotherapy, yoga, mindfulness, EMDR, and engaging the body's naturally built-in healing systems through movement) that have just as good (if not better) long-term mental health improvement rates. Therefore I encourage clients to consider all the options and help them find the resources they need to make an informed decision.

Unsplash: Whengang Zhei

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