The Medication Trap

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Medications are an important tool in the treatment of mental health issues and the use of them, like the use of any tool, should be understood and taken seriously. Also this tool needs to be used with other tools and this means treatment through a qualified mental health practitioner while taking the medication. Years of research in the area of treatment for anxiety and derpession indicates that medication and therapy are more successful than medication alone. After all, you cant build a house with just a hammer!

Clinical Psychologist's are highly trained in the treatment of mental health disorders and are crucial in the process in the reduction and eventual elimination of medications.  It is important to note that no modification of mood stabilisers should be undertaken without being coordinated by your physician. But here's the trap.

In my practice when treating anxiety and depression I tell patients that medications are like the crutches that we are given at the hospital when we break a leg. Their job is to keep weight off the leg while it heals. But usually, with most people, these crutches are left in a closet or on the floor under the bed way before our GP's tell us we should be using them. Why?  Their burdensome, inconvenient and hurt (chaffing under the arms) we just wont to get rid of them as soon as possible. Medications serve the same purpose. They are used as a tool to help keep us emotionally balanced while we heal. The medications dont heal the underlying issues of anxiety and depression. They just help support us while the healing is taking place and this takes place in therapy.

The trap with medications are that they dont have a discomfort factor. You just take the meds as prescribed. There is no discomfort in taking a pill and as a result I see people who have been on mood stabilising medication for years (as many as 10!!!). one of the reasons is the no discomfort factor but the second reason is more problematic.  The individual has no confidence that if they were off the medication that they will be able to function as well as they have come to expect while on the medication. They have no confidence that without the medication that they will be alright. They fear a return to the terrible times that lead up to the need for the medication in the first place, even 10 years latter. The lack of confidence in their ability to be OK when reducing or eliminating the medication maintains the use of the medication. And thats the trap!

In therapy at IPS for the treatment of anxiety and depression you will receive practical skills that will address the symptoms of anxiety and depression and then the underlying issues that brought about the symptoms. And although many people find this process empowering and useful, it doesnt necessarily build enough confidence to start to look at the reduction of their current medication.  This is where the use of Biofeedback as a treatment tool plays a crucial role in the treatment of anxiety. In being able to see your ability to control the physiological symptoms of anxiety comes the confidence that the medications can be reduced. With the Biofeedback system as a guide, you can reduce the medications (as determiend by your physician) while observing that you still have the ability to manage anxiety because you can see it. As they say, "Seeing is believing!!!"

If you are interested in reducing or eliminating your need for mood stabilising medication, please click on the Book Now button and make an appointment at the most convenient location to you.

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