Medication Management

We will work collaboratively with you to figure out the best course of treatment.

Are You Seeking Comprehensive, Compassionate And Attentive Medication Management?

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Are you looking for a skilled, experienced and attentive practitioner to help you with your medication needs? Maybe your therapist thinks that medication could be a helpful addition to your treatment, and you’re seeking the psychiatric support, education and information needed to make an informed decision. Or perhaps you’re already taking a medication that isn’t effective or needs an adjustment. You might want a second opinion to make sure your prescription is right for you. It may be that you’re worried about how medication and potential side effects could affect your quality of life and want to ensure that you select the best medication possible. Essentially, do you want to feel less overwhelmed, mitigate symptoms and live a happier, more balanced and productive life?

Maybe you are a parent, and medication has been suggested for your child to help mitigate ADHD, anxiety or depression symptoms or to aid in mood stability. Although you want to help your child feel less overwhelmed and more confident, you may still be worried about potential side effects, especially if you’ve heard that your child could become a zombie or just stop being themselves. The medication selection process may feel complicated, and you want to know what to look out for, how different medications work and how to best support your child.

Whether you’re in need of support, information, education, an adjustment or a second opinion about medication for your child or yourself, medication management at Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry can provide you with comprehensive information, advice and treatment.

Understanding Psychiatric Treatment

While talk therapy can be highly effective, sometimes the most impactful treatment involves a trial of medication. In fact, studies show that for some people, the combination of therapy and medication yield the most effective results. There are also times when maintenance medication after completing a course of therapy is necessary and beneficial.

If therapy alone is not working, the use of medication should be considered in order to reduce the intensity of target symptoms and provide relief. For some people, the use of medication can help create a shift in perspective and aid in their engagement with treatment and healing.

Here are four situations in which medication can be particularly helpful. Some people suffer from chemical imbalances and/or chronic conditions, such as bipolar disorder, in which long-term medication management is needed. Other people are prone to bouts of depression and/or anxiety and may benefit from the use of medication. People with ADHD may choose to be on medication long-term or choose to only use it during their academic careers to help improve focus, organization and time management skills. Finally, medication can be used as a short-term adjunct treatment to therapy for people experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms during a particularly stressful, challenging life circumstance.

Medication Management Can Provide You With Support, Education and Relief

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A start to the treatment process is a psychiatric evaluation with one of our nurse practitioners or psychiatrists depending on your or your child’s specific symptoms, treatment needs and goals. The evaluation and/or assessment process can help map out the most effective course of treatment and determine whether medication should be a part of it. Our psychiatrist or nurse practitioners will typically complete the initial evaluation and then meet with you regularly to monitor symptoms, evaluate progress and generally check-in with your overall well-being. We believe in comprehensive care that treats the whole person.

It is possible to find the best medication for you or your child and relieve the distress of problematic symptoms. With the right medication and the help, guidance and support of a skilled, compassionate team, you or your child can enjoy an improved quality of life.

You still may have questions or concerns about medication management…

I’m worried about the long-term neurological effects of medication on my child/teen.

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Most of these medications have been around for decades, and there have been no documented long-term neurological side effects. Also, we only prescribe medication for children and adolescents who we feel could significantly benefit from them. We carefully monitor both progress and side effects, and will not keep your child on a medication they are not clearly benefiting from. If any medication does carry a potential health risk, your child can be monitored both clinically and with lab work. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. We will provide you with information, education and pros and cons so you can make an informed decision for your child.

I’ve heard that certain side effects can significantly impact quality of life.

Our goal is to use medication when needed to improve your quality of life, not the other way around. We also want to make sure that the benefits outweigh any side effects. If side effects become a problem, we can adjust dosage and/or find a medication that better fits you and your needs. You can also discuss any concerns you have at the onset of medication treatment. We truly are here as a resource and want to ensure that you get the best possible treatment so you can live a balanced and fulfilling life.

If I start medication will I need to be on it long-term, possibly forever?

The duration of medication use really depends on the individual and the type of disorder being treated. Some issues, like anxiety or depression, are often time-limited and may not require an extended commitment to The duration of medication use really depends on the individual and the type of disorder being treated. Some issues, like anxiety or depression, are often time-limited and may not require an extended commitment to medication. For conditions like ADHD, you may want/need to stay on medication during your academic career or in certain work environments. There are disorders, such as bipolar disorder, that may require ongoing medication use to manage symptoms. Regardless of what your medication management needs and goals are, we are here to help you. We will work collaboratively with you to figure out the best course of treatment.

Is Distress, Disorganization Or Mood Swings Causing You To Wonder If You Or Your Child Need A Psychiatric Evaluation?

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Are you prone to waves of prolonged hopelessness, panic attacks or significant mood swings? Do you have a hard time staying present and connected to the people around you? Perhaps you struggle to focus, complete tasks or stay organized, and you’re wondering if undiagnosed ADHD might be the cause. Or maybe a pattern of highs and lows in energy and/or mood is starting to seriously impact your life. Are you struggling to get past a traumatic experience and vacillating between feeling anxious and depressed? Do you often feel irritable, sad or highly stressed, even when it seems that things are going okay? Do you wish you could understand what you’re feeling and why and experience relief from distress?

Or, maybe you are worried about your child or teenager’s emotional, behavioral or academic wellbeing. Is your child suddenly acting out, struggling in school or withdrawing? Perhaps he or she has lost interest in activities that were once enjoyed. Or maybe your child or teen has an uneven school performance, often seems distracted and off-task or is falling behind his or her peers. You may be starting to worry that something is really wrong and want answers so you can get your child the help he or she needs to feel successful, happy and whole.

You Are Not Alone

If you’re struggling to understand what’s going on for you or your child and considering a psychiatric evaluation, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience depression, anxiety and ADHD and struggle through other significant emotional, learning, attention and psychological issues. And, many suffer in silence for years before seeking a mental health evaluation or getting tested for learning or attention disorders. However, gathering information and seeking support can make a significant difference in how you or your child feels and functions.

The good news is that there is help and hope. A psychiatric assessment can provide you with the information needed to make positive and productive changes in your or your child’s life. At Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry, our staff psychiatrist or advanced practice psychiatric nurse practitioners can review symptoms, discuss diagnosis and map out a treatment plan that best addresses your or your child’s symptoms, needs, history, and therapy goals.

A Psychiatric Evaluation Can Provide You With Information, Insight And A Plan For Relief

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Psychiatric evaluations at Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry are efficient, comprehensive and directed to meet your specific needs. Our medication management team including Dr. Joseph McNally, Chandni Parikh, C-PNP, MSN, Heidi Napolitano APRN, PMHNP-BC, and Melissa Welch PMHNP-BC will guide you through the one-hour evaluation and subsequent follow-up processes. You will be provided with information, education and the support and guidance needed to make informed decisions for you or your child.

Your psychiatric evaluation will consist of gaining an understanding of your personal history, your family of origin’s medical and mental health history and presenting problems, as well as an overall review of your symptoms. Everything from eating and sleeping patterns, relationships and productivity issues will also be discussed. Once our practitioner has a comprehensive picture of what you’re experiencing, he/she  can make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan. If therapy is recommended, a referral can be made to one of our in-house therapists.  The psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse can also work in collaboration with your current therapist if you are already in therapy. The role medication could play in helping to alleviate or mitigate symptoms will be discussed. If you both agree that medication could be helpful, you can learn about medication options, possible side effects, benefits and risks in order to make an informed decision.

The psychiatric evaluation process for children and teenagers is similar, although these evaluations are typically conducted through two stages of interviews. Usually, the psychiatrist or advanced nurse practitioner will meet with your child or teen first and then invite you to join. In order to get the full picture, it’s important to hear directly from both the child and parent. Also, if there is evidence that your child may be struggling with a learning or attention disorder, he may ask that teachers or other people in your child’s life provide feedback if needed. By getting all relevant information,  it’s much more likely that your child’s treatment plan is inclusive and best designed to support him or her in all environments and areas of life.

You still may have questions or concerns about psychiatric assessments…

Does a diagnosis mean that my child or I will need to go on medication?

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A diagnosis does not necessarily mean that you or your child will need medication. What a proper diagnosis will do, however, is open the door to a range of treatment options, which could include medication. There is a lot that can be done to mitigate symptoms that does not include the use of medication, although medication in combination with therapy has been proven a very effective form of treatment for some people. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and monitor progress, potential side effects and dosage should you choose medication.

I’m worried that an evaluation will lead to a diagnosis and that my child will be labeled as different.

A diagnosis can help you, your child and your child’s therapist understand what your child is dealing with. It also allows us to create an effective treatment plan designed to improve the quality of your child’s life. Life truly can feel easier, rather than constantly overwhelming for your child. Although, in some cases, it can be helpful to get teachers or other people in your child’s life to weigh in, we adhere to strict standards of confidentiality. No one will be informed of your child’s diagnosis or even that he or she was here unless you choose to share that information.

I’m afraid I’ll find out that there is something really wrong with me and that nothing will help.

In the evaluation process, we take the time to break down your target symptoms, help you understand what is occurring and devise a strategy to best address your concerns. There is always help available.  Gaining clarity and taking an approach designed specifically for you can truly yield effective results. By making informed choices, you can improve the quality of your life and experience relief. Furthermore, you will not be alone in the process. Our highly qualified and compassionate team will be there to guide and support you along the way.

Get The Information And Support Needed For Relief

You don’t have to navigate this challenging time on your own. We invite you to call 847-440-2281 to schedule an evaluation. We’re happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about psychiatric evaluations and our practice.