As many psychiatric conditions have an underlying genetic and biological basis, medication can be a crucial component of treatment. Medications are often used as adjuncts to or in lieu of psychotherapy. In fact, research shows that the gold standard of treatment for depression, anxiety and many other psychiatric conditions is combined psychotherapy with medication.
During an evaluation, our psychiatrists utilize a bio-psycho-social model to treatment and identifies biological, genetic, psychological, and social factors that may be contributing to a patient’s condition. This often involves the use of laboratory testing, genetic testing, and psychological testing.
Our practice places a strong emphasis on psychotherapy as the foundation of treatment, but if medication is indicated, the psychiatrist will discuss with you the nature of your illness, the reason for the medication and the likelihood of improving with and without medication. She will also explain alternative treatments to medication, which have not been tried and provide an explanation why they should not be tried first. Further, the psychiatrist will explain the type of medication being recommended, probable side effects known to occur, and any possible long term side effects. Once the decision to start medication is made, the psychiatrist will monitor closely to determine how well the medication is working and whether it will need to be adjusted or even changed. If the patient is not responding to the medication she may utilize genetic testing to determine whether certain characteristic genetic differences are contributing the lack of response and use this information to change the medications accordingly.
Our psychiatrists take a conservative approach to treatment with medication and aims to use the minimum amount of medication to achieve a desired effect. It has been observed that many people being treated for a variety of psychiatric conditions are overmedicated and often with complex medication combinations that are not evidence based. Our psychiatrists will carefully evaluate and discuss your current treatment regimen with you as it compares to true evidence based practice guidelines and can often create a treatment plan that minimizes medication use.