How to Prepare for Your Medication Management Appointment
If a provider at LifeStance Health prescribes a psychiatric medication, they may also ask you to attend medication management appointments. These visits allow providers to ensure that the medications are working the way that they should and suggest changes if needed. You and your provider will discuss any symptoms you still experience, side effects that can occur, and any questions you have.
Medication management appointments may be different than other doctor visits you have had in the past. The following tips can help you get what you need from your appointment, thus keeping you healthy.
Prepare a List of All Your Medications and Supplements
All medical providers ask for what medications you take, and this is especially important when psychiatric medicine is involved. Your provider must strike a delicate balance with your medications, so it’s important to have accurate information about all the medicines and supplements you consume.
While your psychiatric medical provider would like to spend lots of time with you, the fact is that it never feels like enough. Don’t waste precious minutes with your doctor trying to recall the medicines you take.
Before your appointment, jot down a list of your:
- Over-the-counter medicines you take regularly
- Supplements you take, including multivitamins
- Dosages for all of the above
If possible, include the times of day in which you take each substance. Your provider may be able to help you adjust dosing times in order to lessen side effects.
Take a List of Questions with You
Have you ever walked out of an appointment of any kind and immediately realized you forgot to bring something up? It happens often with doctor appointments, including medication management visits. Avoid this frustration by bringing a list of questions with you.
Between appointments, write down anything you want to bring up with your provider at the next appointment.
Some common questions for mental health care providers include:
- Will I have to take psychiatric medication for the rest of my life?
- Will this side effect subside? When?
- Could I get addicted to this medication?
- Should my symptoms be better by now?
It’s important to feel comfortable asking any questions and raising any issues you may have. Not only is it your provider’s job to help you understand your health situation, but they take pride in helping you in this way.
Answer Your Provider’s Questions Honestly
Many people feel nervous when they talk to medical providers, and this feeling can intensify when opening up to psychiatric doctors and nurse practitioners. After all, these providers must ask about sensitive topics such as drug use, alcohol, thoughts of self-harm, and panic. Furthermore, the societal stigmas that live on can keep people from feeling completely open about psychiatry.
However, it’s absolutely vital for you to be honest during your psychiatric medication management appointment. Being open and honest keeps you safe. For example, many psychiatric medications interact with things like alcohol, so your provider needs to know about your intake. Furthermore, some of these medicines can cause worsening symptoms, such as thoughts of self-harm. Your doctor will change your medication to keep you safe, but only if they know you’re struggling.
Your LifeStance Health professional wants to help you, but they can only do that when they know exactly what’s going on. Remember that anything you tell your provider is protected by strict privacy laws, including HIPAA. Furthermore, if you feel uncomfortable with anything during your appointment, you can say so.
At LifeStance Health, we’re here to assist you and make you feel at ease. If you’re ready to meet with a compassionate behavioral health provider, contact us today.