Depression, Anxiety, and other Mental Health Conditions
As I note in Things To Be Aware Of:
A word specifically to those living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and various other mental conditions: you are not to blame for your condition, and taking medication is not a failure. Medication can make it possible for depressed, anxious, sleepless people to finally be able to take the steps they need to exercise, sleep well, eat decently, get to therapy routinely. If medication is needed, take it, and honor yourself for taking care of yourself.
An integrative approach can help improve mood and sleep for those who are depressed, anxious, unfocused, or dealing with insomnia. Improving these conditions can help improve overall health as well.
Many people who come to me do not want medications for depression, anxiety, etc. However, medication is sometimes needed to help heal from mental health conditions. For those on medications, I focus on therapies that will not interfere with the medication and that can help improve medication effectiveness or ease side effects. I also offer strategies to help you taper down medication use if that is appropriate and safe for your condition.
I frequently recommend counseling for my patients with various conditions. The evidence is that counseling helps with people to recover from depression. It also helps prevent relapse.
In some cases I manage and prescribe commonly used (uncontrolled) medications for uncomplicated depression and anxiety. However, in many cases I may ask you to have a “prescribing mental health professional” (psychiatrist or psychiatric ARNP) to manage your your medications. This is especially true if:
- your depression or anxiety is severe
- you have a recent history of suicide attempts or hospitalization for your mental health conditions.
- You have any “co-morbid” conditions such as bipolar or other mental illnesses;
- you have other conditions that require a prescribing psychiatric provider’s expert guidance.
I will also ask you to have a psychiatrist or psychiatric ARNP on board if you are:
- have psychotic symptoms
- or have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (especially with a history of psychosis or hospitalizations).
If you do not have a psychiatrist or psychiatric ARNP and need one, you can contact the following organizations to set up an appointment with one.