Magic pill

The Magic Pill!

HA!  Got your attention didn’t I?  Wouldn’t that be great?  Just take a pill and *poof!*  All is right in your world.  So many of us search for an answer – that quick fix – to help us live happier lives, to feel more fulfilled in our careers and personal lives, to eliminate negative emotions (i.e. sadness, worry, anger), and prolong those good-feeling, positive emotions (i.e. joy, peace).  We want what we want, and we want it NOW!

On some level, we have a knowing that there’s no such thing as a “magic pill,” but that often doesn’t stop us from seeking that ever-elusive quick-fix (i.e. retail therapy, alcohol/drugs, eating the whole bag of Cheetos/M&M’s, the anti-depressant we see advertised during the evening news, insert your go-to quick-fix here _______________).

Knowing that a quick-fix is not available can be a hard pill to swallow (no pun intended), but there is hope!  There is something you can do that can help:

  • Increase your perception of well-being in your life
  • Increase gratitude
  • Increase self-esteem and self-worth
  • Increase focus and productivity
  • Increase positivity and health within your relationships
  • Increase your ability to deal with conflict
  • Increase your ability to relax and manage stress

You CAN achieve these things…buuuuuuuuuuut you have to do the work.  It’s called “therapy.”

Working with a therapist affords you the opportunity to examine patterns in your life.  To lay out your struggles, your worries, and your wounds, as well as your hopes, your dreams, and your strengths, all the while in a safe, confidential, non-judgmental space.  It is not the role of the therapist to tell you what you “should” do, rather the therapist acts as a mirror and sounding board to help you discover your own truth and your own solutions.  The therapist can assist you in developing a toolbox of skills to better cope with life’s challenges.  As our amazing Nurse Practitioner Daryl Ross always says, “Skills before pills.”

Yes, psychiatric medication can and often does offer relief from intense symptoms; however, if you’re still not getting the results you want in your life, consider giving therapy a try.

What do you have to lose?

Psychiatrist Counseling

Full-service Practice Provides Advanced Treatments in Tranquil Setting

To people on the outside looking in, Donna* would appear to have a great life. She has a stable job doing what she loves, a nice home and a new car. She’s blessed with a healthy son, many friends and a close extended family. To any casual observer, she would seem to have everything she needs and wants.

On the inside, however, Donna is tormented by extreme mood swings. She shifts from periods of deep depression and fatigue to periods of heightened energy and agitation. There are times when she is nearly disabled by her condition, which was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as bipolar disorder.

Donna has not responded fully to her current doctor’s treatment plan, and her family has encouraged her to seek another psychiatrist’s opinion. But Donna is hesitant, mainly because she believes psychiatric offices are stark, cold and unfriendly. She dreads the thought of sitting in a sterile environment while being asked a multitude of probing questions. This image in her mind makes her anxious, which makes her feel worse.

“Our clinic is not like that at all,” assures Edward Zawadzki, DO, a board-certified forensic and adult psychiatrist at Lighthouse Health Group in Jupiter. “Ours is a spa-like setting that’s very calming and relaxing. Our office is decorated with bright, soothing colors, so it’s comfortable and welcoming for patients.

“And when we perform our evaluations, we don’t pepper patients with clinical questions, which can be awkward and unpleasant for them. Instead, our evaluations are very conversational, which puts patients at ease and makes them more comfortable with the treatment process. We find patients respond really well to that approach.”

Lighthouse Health Group is still a full-service psychiatric practice offering both traditional and leading-edge treatments for patients with mental health disorders. In addition to a board-certified psychiatrist, the staff includes a certified psychiatric nurse practitioner, doctoral level psychologists and master’s level therapists.

“At our clinic, we spend a good amount of time with our patients, longer than typical psychiatric practices, and we take an individualized approach to each person’s situation,” Dr. Zawadzki describes. “I see patients for an initial evaluation for about an hour, then follow-up visits with me are twenty minutes or longer.

“All of the counselors take time to listen and get to know their patients and what’s going on in their lives, then we use that information in the treatment process. Knowing all about our patients helps us gauge how they’re doing with their treatment and determine if any adjustments are necessary.”

The counselors at Lighthouse Health Group assist people with a broad range of mental health disorders. Many of their patients are diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but they address other conditions as well.

“We treat patients with many issues, including anxiety spectrum disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder,” Dr. Zawadzki observes. “We also treat people with trauma histories as well as major mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

“While we use medication to treat many of these conditions, not all patients are treated with medication,” Dr. Zawadzki stresses. “Patients often consult with a therapist or psychologist first, and they can recommend medication. But as the psychiatrist, I decide if patients need medication, psychotherapy or both. Treatment is specific to the individual.”

Totally TMS

Dr. Zawadzki and his staff at Lighthouse Health Group use a mixture of science-based psychiatry and traditional psychotherapeutic methods to treat their patients. Traditional methods they employ include individual and family therapy. The staff also use leading-edge techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.

“During TMS, a high-strength magnet is placed on the head over an area of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Dr. Zawadzki describes. “This area of the brain is considered important in the development of depression. It has been shown on MRI studies to be under-functioning in people who have depression.

“Pulsing the magnet over that section of the brain induces a small electrical charge that forces the neurons in that area to fire. This essentially wakes up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex so it functions normally again, which relieves depression symptoms.”

A course of TMS therapy is generally 36 sessions over approximately one month. The initial TMS session lasts 45 minutes to an hour. During that time,
Dr. Zawadzki maps the brain to determine the exact location for magnet placement. Subsequent sessions take about 30 minutes to complete.

“TMS is typically reserved for patients who struggle with medications, who’ve had only partial response to medications or can’t take medications due to side effects or another issue,” Dr. Zawadzki reports. “The nice thing about TMS is it bypasses the pill-taking process and focuses treatment directly on the area of the brain that we believe is involved in depression.

“Most patients start feeling better around the two-week mark after beginning TMS therapy. But for some patients, it takes a little longer to feel significant relief of their symptoms.”

Rapid Relief

Another leading-edge treatment offered at Lighthouse Health Group is esketamine, which is a new medication that helps people suffering from depressive disorders rapidly achieve symptom relief.

“Esketamine is an analog of ketamine, an anesthetic that’s been around for many years,” Dr. Zawadzki explains. “But esketamine has been reformulated as a treatment for depression. We use esketamine as a nasal spray, and we administer it in our office. It’s not something patients take home with them.

“Esketamine is an NMDA-receptor antagonist, which is a complicated way of saying it works on neurotransmitters in the brain that are involved with depression and other emotional states. By modulating those neurotransmitters with esketamine, we can help people feel dramatically better very quickly.

“The exact way esketamine works is complicated. But essentially, it operates through a variety of mechanisms primarily concerned with glutamate transmission. [Glutamate is a specific neurotransmitter]. With esketamine, patients enter a dissociative anesthetic state, during which symptoms of depression go away.”

Initially, esketamine is administered twice a week for one month, after which patients enter a maintenance phase. During maintenance, patients are treated once per week for a specific number of months determined by how each patient responds to the treatment.

Like TMS, esketamine therapy is typically considered after patients fail to achieve significant symptom relief using medications.

Patients with mental health disorders sometimes suffer physical pain as well. Lighthouse Health Group offers a service to support patients in that situation. To ease patients’ pain, a board-certified physiatrist is on site at the clinic to address their painful conditions.

“We’re not a pain clinic, but our physiatrist, Dr. Ellen Babinsky treats patients for many types of musculoskeletal complaints, including back pain and joint injuries,” Dr. Zawadzki states. “As a physiatrist, she can address any type of muscle or bone issue patients may experience.”

People don’t have to be mental health patients to make an appointment with the physiatrist at Lighthouse Health Group.

Hearing about Lighthouse Health Group was excellent news to Donna’s ears. She was thrilled to learn of a psychiatric clinic with a soothing atmosphere and concierge-like service. It took away the anxiety of seeking a second opinion on her bipolar disorder treatment plan. Donna was surprised to find out that Lighthouse Health Group is not brand-new.

“We’ve been around for close to five years,” Dr. Zawadzki shares. “And our patients are our priority. Our ultimate goal is to provide really good care to our patients at all times.”


Psychological Testing

Psychological Testing: The Most important Missing Part of Your Treatment

Problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many others can get in the way of you living your life to the fullest. When these problems arise, you may go see a psychiatrist first, while some will go to a priest or a rabbi, and others will seek out the services of a psychologist, therapist, or counselor. One crucial step, which many people tend to skip over, is undergoing psychological tests. Without these tests, it can be very difficult to determine exactly what you are suffering from, since many psychological disorders have overlapping symptoms.

We get medical tests for the body. Why not get psychological tests for the mind?

Whenever a physician or primary care doctor requests medical testing, we undergo these, without question. They are just part of the process that we have grown so used to. Well, Psychological testing is very similar to, and just as important, as these medical tests. Physicians will send you for x-rays or blood tests in order to help determine an accurate diagnosis. The same can be said for psychologists. Psychologists will utilize psychological testing in order to determine an accurate diagnosis, and subsequently, the best treatment possible for you, your child, or your loved ones.

What can psychological testing identify?

Psychological testing can be used to diagnose and treat: depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, cognitive or developmental delay, anxiety, behavioral problems, memory problems, sensory-related issues, learning disabilities, executive functioning difficulties, vocational problems, communication disorders, dementia, memory problems, visual and auditory learning disorders, and giftedness.

Psychological and Neuropsychological tests include assessments that measure:

  • Intellectual functioning (e.g. intellectual disability and giftedness)
  • Attention and executive functioning (e.g. ADHD)
  • Achievement abilities (e.g. learning disorders and giftedness)
  • Memory and learning abilities (e.g. dementia)
  • Behavior concerns (e.g. Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder)
  • Reality testing and psychological disturbances (e.g. Schizophrenia)
  • Social-emotional functioning (e.g. personality disorders, anxiety, and depression).
  • Developmental disabilities (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Personality Testing

Personality tests attempt to measure your basic personality style and are often used to help formulate a clinical diagnosis and assess a person’s character for healthy and potentially unhealthy qualities. These tests can provide powerful information about one’s self and support new insights into one’s functioning/character.

Neuropsychological/Cognitive Testing

Neuropsychological tests attempt to measure deficits in cognitive functioning (i.e., your ability to think, speak, reason, etc.) that may result from some sort of brain damage, such as a stroke. Neuropsychological tests are used to examine brain function and impairment.

Forensic Testing

Forensic Testing is the application of psychological and/or neuropsychological testing towards providing information about a person that often is related or connected to some type of legal issue, work related problem, disability dispute, etc. Typically a third paty such as an attorney, judge/court, or employer is requesting the evaluation. Examples include: Workers’ Compensation, Disability, Personal Injury, Criminal Law, and Child Custody.

Intelligence Testing

Intelligence testing can be used to determine eligibility or admission to gifted programs in school, testing to diagnose mental retardation or delayed development, to help with disability determination and/or recommendation for appropriate accommodations in work or school situations, and vocational assessment, to fit your abilities, personality, and interests with an appropriate career path.

What to do now…

Every person is unique, so each psychological assessment will be custom fit to that person and their specific needs. Psychological testing may sound daunting, but, in order to find the root cause of your difficulty, and subsequently the best course of treatment, psychological tests are an indispensable tool. Just as your primary care doctor would use those medical tests to put together a treatment plan to help you feel better, psychologists do the same to help a wide range of mental, emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems. The best thing you can do is find a qualified licensed clinical psychologist that you feel comfortable with and start your journey to recovery.

Contact Lighthouse Health Group at 561-249-7400 to schedule your testing with Dr. Lisa Smalheiser today!


How Do I Know When to See a Psychiatrist?

You might experience some stress, sadness or any conflict due to our everyday routines so it can be hard to cope with everything at the same time. So if you feel this is happening to you and you are not sure how to handle the situation, it might be a good idea to visit a professional and consult about the problem.












According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, While It is true that one in five American adults have some mental illness, only a 46 to 65% are under a professional treatment.

This is considered a significant risk because those who are in distress might actually intensify the issue when they avoid any kind of professional help. That is why, psychological help for these people is as important as identifying and diagnosing mental illness in the psychiatric community.

The psychologist Daniel J. Reidenberg argues that “The earlier someone gets help, the easier it is to get through the problem,.” Thus, it is vital to get a quick and accurate diagnosis to start helping the patients as soon as possible.

This situation can be attributed to many stigmas and believes connected to seeing a therapist. Some people tend to think that you only consult a professional because you are “crazy” and it is also seen as a sign of weakness as well as, treatments are considered too expensive.

However, the psychologist Mary Alvord, Ph.D. emphasized that these ideas or opinions are not real. She stated that “Your treatment doesn’t have to be analysis four times a week; I have some patients who come for just two session consultations or a cognitive behavioral therapy for a year,” Besides, “People feel like they’ll get stuck and that’s just not true.”

As regards its costs, it might not be true that all treatments are expensive, there are some cheaper options which might include university-associated treatment centers and therapists who turn to be more affordable.

What is more, Reidenberg added that “There is still an unjustified stigma around mental illnesses, but we’re not even talking about mental illness,”  “We’re just talking about life and how hard life can be. The benefits of psychotherapy more like stress-relievers like exercising and eating right — just strategies that help make life easier and help to remove stressors.”

These professionals, Reidenberg and Alvord agree on the idea that we must see a therapist when we feel overwhelmed or out of our limits when we feel we cannot handle our life anymore.

Feelings are intense

If emotions such as anger and sadness regularly overcome, it might be taken as a sign of some underlying problem. Nevertheless, the intensity of these feelings is going to be determined to catastrophe in our mind. When anxiety invade us and we extremely worry about things is when our challenges begin.

Alvord says that this situation “can be paralyzing, lead to panic attacks and even cause you to avoid things,” and, thus “If your life gets more constricted because you’re avoiding a lot, it is probably time to see someone.”

After a traumatizing situation, you cannot stop thinking about it

A traumatizing situation like a death in the family, a breakup or job loss, might be hard to face so a bit of counseling might be good to process them. “We tend to think these feelings are going to go away on their own,” says Alvord, but this may not always be the case, not everyone responds to them in the same way.

A consequence of these situations might be great grief which makes your faction impaired, and you might want to withdraw from your social life. So if you notice that you are not able to engage in your life as before or, eve, if people around you see some distance in your behavior, it might be time to consult someone who can help you realize and process your pain.

In some other cases, people might respond to the loss in a manic way such as hyper-engagement with friends and acquaintances or an inability to sleep. These signs should be treated by mental health professionals.

Experience some physical problems

Research shows that stress may manifest in several physical ailments; from a chronic upset stomach to headaches, you also can suffer from frequent colds or lack of sexual desire. Alvord stated that “If we’re emotionally upset, it can affect our bodies,” On the other hand, Reidenberg highlighted that it is possible to hear some unusual complaints like muscle twinges or neck pain which are clear signs of stress or emotional distress.

The use of substances

Plus some physical manifestations, you might find yourself drinking or using drugs in excess or more often, these are also signs you might evaluate to get help.

Thus, this abuse can be related to food. As Reidenberg noted,  some changes in your appetite are hints which denotes that something is not good. Both too much eating or not wanting to eat might make reference to the lack of desire to take care of yourself.

bad feedback from work











Negative feedback at work

You might perceive that your performance at work is not as it used to, and this can be connected to your struggling with emotions or psychological issues. It may happen even if you like your job and if it made you happy before.

You can experience some changes in concentration and attention, plus you might get negative feedback from your boss or manager as well as your coworkers regarding the quality of your work.

Reidenberg noticed that “Adults spend most of their time at work,” that is why people at work are more likely to see the changes you are undergoing. So this is another sign that you need to pay attention to in order to talk to a professional.

Sad lonely girl sitting on stairs











Disconnected from your social life

While attending some social encounters like meeting friends or family gathering might feel like you lost your joy and you are not interested in sharing with others. Reidenberg explained that is another reason to consult about your mental health. “If you’re disillusioned, feeling like there’s not a lot of purposes or a point or feeling a general sense of unhappiness, seeing a therapist could help you regain some clarity or start in a new direction,” he says.

Expressing your feelings.

If you are having problems to communicate how you feel or you do not know how to identify your feelings, and you find yourself unhappy when being with family, you might want to start a couple or family therapy

In Alvord words:“We can help empower people to make better choices in how they phrase things — and we teach people that it isn’t just about what you say, but about your body language and overall attitude.”

Your friends’ concern

In most cases. Friends are the ones who notice these changes in your behavior that might skip family´s inside. So it would be wise to consider their point of view.

“If anybody in your life has said something to you along the lines of: ‘Are you talking to anybody about this?’ or ‘Are you doing okay? I’m concerned about you’ — that’s a sign that you should probably take their advice,” says Reidenberg.

Paying attention to your loved ones and small details that might be insignificant would be more than necessary to get help at the right time.

If you need more information or assessment in connection to this or any other mental problem or therapy contact us. We are more than willing to help you get the right treatment for you.

Young Girl Talking With Counselor At Home

The Effects of Treating Psychiatric Disorders in Children

Young Girl Talking With Counselor At Home

When referring to children’s disorders, Psychiatrists are dealing with delicate situations. Due to many new disorders as well as new treatments. It is a developing field, and medication is still being tested. Scientists are trying to understand how children’s brains develop and researching about the different stages of mental illnesses early in life.

The primary objective is to help children and parents to manage these kinds of issues and to prevent disorders developing. However, if the illness is already established, it will become part of the child´s behavior, and its treatment might be more complicated.

Nowadays, several disorders that might affect children, they may include anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Variety of Treatment for Children

As regards children’s treatment, there are a wide variety of possibilities and choices which might include psychotherapy or medication.  Before starting with any of them, the child should have a diagnosis done by a specialist to choose the appropriate procedure.  

Parents should be informed about their child conditions, and the professional should provide all the possible alternatives. They need to be explained that there are some tested treatments, but there are also experimental ones.

To be assertive in the diagnosis, parents have to consult an expert, a child psychiatrist who should be specialized in pediatric mental health. The professional would observe the child in determined situations and for some hours to be able to interact with the child and with the parents.

It would give the doctor the opportunity of seeing the child´s following a routine, who the relationship with family, friends, and teachers, etc. works and how the child behaves in each context.

Which Medication is the Correct One for Young Children?

The kind of drugs used for children tends to affect the brain chemicals which are connected to their mood and behavior. Nevertheless, researching is still being held to understand the risks and benefits they could produce.

Parents have the difficult task of deciding if they are going to give their child medication and which one. They need to bear in mind that each child has individual needs and the child should be carefully monitored by them during the treatment.  

Not in all cases, it would be wise to medicate the child. It should be evaluated if positive effects or benefits are more than the risks. Some kids suffer from severe or dangerous consequences which required medication to manage them. What is more, some treatments are accompanied by psychological assistance.

It is a must for parents to talk about all the possibilities and pro and cons of treatments and medication before taking a decision. An informed choice is the best option to help the child to feel safe and contained.

Medication does not have to be used alone. The child might receive other treatment to be able to control and handle the changes that medication could enhance their lives. For instance, family therapy, educational classes, and behavior management techniques.

If your child’s doctor prescribes medication, he or she should evaluate your child regularly to make sure the medicine is working. Children need treatment plans tailored to their problems and needs.

In the market, it is possible to find a wide variety of drugs that are used in this kind of treatments. It is even suggested the dose that would be appropriate for a child according to their weight and age.

Medication Effects on Children’s Body and Behavior

Medication would affect young children differently than older children or even an adult. This is because their brains change and develop rapidly. Studies showed that, in some cases, the brain is sensitive to the medication. Moreover, their metabolism may process medication differently. That is why psychiatrists should be carefully and consider the precise dose to prescribe each child.

On the other hand, parents might be aware that untreated disorders can also harm the brain and its healthy development.  Furthermore, pills should not overlap, if the child is taking any other kind of medication, it should be discussed with the doctor due to possible side effects which can be dangerous or could reduce mental disorder medicine´s effects.

It is still today a controversial issue whether to medicate a child or not. Professionals might use different criteria to characterize the symptoms each child has. Some specialists might diagnose with a mental disorder children that are consistently restless, moody, or fearful which, in fact, these characteristics correspond to their age.

Currently, not only young children but also toddlers and preschooler are under treatment with prescribed medication. It might be seen as a “ salvation” for parents. But most experts are concern about this because there is not enough information about how these medicines might affect developing brains and bodies when treating psychiatric disorders in children.

In addition to this, medication might carry significant side effects; they are related to slow rate of growth when prolonged in time, rapid weight gain or some metabolic complication, among many others.

It should be essential to highlight that more researchers and studies in connection to appropriate dosages, how the medication works and what effects it might have on proper development and learning processes have to be done so parents could have enough and relevant information about the scope of treatments available and their benefits or side effects.

Children with mental illness need guidance and understanding from their parents and teachers.  Psychiatrists can counsel the child and family to help them develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other, as well as, to be able to follow a treatment understanding all the information and importance of it for their child.

word "Depression" surrounded by pills.

Successful Psychiatric Medication Treatment

Modern medication tends to be more efficient in less time than in the past. However, it is crucial for the patient and the treatment itself to be controlled and followed by psychiatrists. You need you find the appropriate clinical combination that suits you best.

This delicate treatment requires a firm, consistent commitment from both doctor and patient and, in most cases, from the patient’s family. You should think about it in long terms because you would need to be patient to wait and see the whole benefits of your medication.

Several factors might affect the reaction of the medication in your body. They might be related to chemical processes in your brain. While some drug can act fast, most of them take longer to have a complete effect.

The psychiatrist will let you know an approximate time for the medication to act according to its dose and your medical condition. If you face your treatment correctly, you will notice how it has a noticeable and favorable impact on you.

Specific aspect should be taken into account in order to have positive and beneficial effects during the treatment and after it. If you follow and respect instructions, you would see how your life improves.

word "Depression" surrounded by pills.

1.Taking Your Medication

Taking the medication on time, as well as, following your psychiatrist´s instructions would be essential elements to proper results. These steps might guarantee that you get full benefits. A great help might be to have a medication organizer and to set a reminder to take the pill every day at the same time. When you are going out, you should consider the dose so to take anywhere. Having an organized routine could help you to make this path easier.

2. Dosification

Your medication might need specific adjustment with time; it might be reduced if everything goes well or you might need to increase your dose.  Make sure that these changes are supervised by your doctor even if your symptoms improved or subsided.

Do not try to leave your medication without consulting your psychiatrist; it will be dangerous for your health. You may be tempted to stop taking medication when your symptoms get better, and your treatment is successful but the consequences can be serious, and you might risk your own life.

On the other hand,  it is possible to encounter some side effects which can be related to unpleasant feelings or aggressive reactions. If you notice any of the side effects, you should contact your psychiatrist as soon as possible to find a quick solution.

Remember that medication is not miraculous, it takes time to see results, and not everyone reacts in the same way. Moreover, you probably have to try different ones in order to find the right one for you.

Psychologist comforting his patient

3. Committing to Appointments

Your commitment to attend each meeting is an essential part of your recovery, especially during your first steps of recovery. This will help the professional to monitor your progress and your treatment to make any change if necessary.

The appointments will start once you have started taking medications. They will be regular with some intervals to make sure you are following instructions and to control side effects manifestations.

It might be crucial for you to keep your follow-up appointments so you can also check your progress and ask the psychiatrist about any inconvenience you encounter or any doubt that might come up.  Appointments would be less frequent once your symptoms are regulated or controlled.

4. Physiotherapy

As a complement to your medication and treatment, it would be favorable to supplement it with psychotherapy or some non-medical interventions. This kind of therapy will encourage you to elaborate your issues differently. It will give you a new perspective, and it might also provide some tools that you can apply during and after the treatment. What is more, it might help you to overcome the challenges of sticking to a medication schedule.

5. Combine Medicine with Recreational Drugs or Alcohol

It should be stated that the combination of a mental medication and any recreational drug or alcohol is quite dangerous, sometimes it might be fatal to the person. This is because it can increase any risks for mental disorders and make them even more severe.

The abuse of these substances might rise dramatically any symptom of mental illness or might trigger any new one. It can also interfere with medications, making them less efficient.

One of the most complicated consequence is that the patient can develop a dependency on drugs or alcohol. So you should discuss it with your doctor to get more information according to your treatment.

An open conversation with your psychiatrist would bring you significant benefits in connection with your treatment and any abuse. The priority should always be your health, you physically and mentally condition and your safety.

When talking to your psychiatrist or psychologist, it is of great benefit to you that you’re honest and open about your drug or alcohol use. They are not going to judge you, on the contrary, they are willing to provide useful information and guidance Their priority is your health and safety, physically and mentally.

Overall, it might be necessary to highlight that it is your compromise and commitment plus the psychiatrist guidance, what you would need for the treatment to succeed.  Try to be organized and follow instructions. Trust the professional and be open to suggestions. If you notice any adverse effect contact your doctor immediately and avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs while you are under treatment.

When you are conscious about your condition, you have your family and friends support, and you are committed to be better, you will see the benefits and changes quite soon.

Psychiatric Medications

Things You Want to Know About Psychiatric Medications

Nowadays a considerable amount of the world population consumes Psychiatric medications. The most commonly prescribed medicines are the anti-depressants. However, not many people know what they are consuming and how these pills might affect or modify their lives.

This is not the only type of medication that is prescribed or might be found in the market; there are plenty of them. The professional would help you find the one which suits you best according to your conditions.

When you are starting a psychiatric treatment, many questions come to mind as regards medication, and its consequences so let’s try to clarify some relevant aspects of it to understand how it works and what needs to be done while taking it.  

Man with mental health problem in the psychiatrist studio


Before taking any kind of pill, you should take into account certain steps that you might follow to make sure you are doing the right thing.

Firstly, you need to talk about the medication with your psychiatrist and comment on any allergy or problem you have. Then, you need to understand how you are going to take medicine. Follow the instructions to be safe.

On the other hand, if you see any adverse effect or problem, please call your doctor right away. The doctor will handle the problem and let you know how to go about it.

Finally, do not take medicines that are not prescribed by your doctor, psychiatrist or health professional. You might risk your health and face severe consequences on your body or mind.

Does Medication Work?

This might be one of the most recurrent question asked. Its effectiveness is tested, and it has to be approved by governmental entities in your country. The test should reveal that it is safe and effective.

Many statistics in the USA showed that 30% of people present improvements quickly. In the case of antidepressant medications, the result showed that 75% of people improved severe symptoms. However, its effectiveness will depend on finding the right medication for each person, and the precise dose needed.

It is important to highlight that medications do not provide a cure for mental disorders, they are meant to treat symptoms. Thus, you might get a good sleep and nutrition, try to avoid alcohol and non-prescribed drugs to recover or rehabilitate properly.

Psychiatric Medications

How Long Does it Take to Take Effect?

Depending on the medicine, it might work in hours, or it might take more than a month to have a noticeable outcome. Some other are used to prevent relapses or recurrence, so they work over time.

How Do I Know it is Working?

In general, psychiatrists advice patients and family to set objectives for the treatment. As medications work on specific symptoms (sleep problems or anxiety, etc.), you should talk to your doctor about the symptoms it is supposed to improve.

Improvement could be perceptible if you have clear goals, you follow and monitor the symptoms, so to have better control over the treatment.

May I Suffer a Personality Change?

The answer to this question is “NO,” your personality will not be modified. The effects might change how you feel, but it has nothing to do with your personality. You might feel more concentrated and energetic; your mind would be clearer, all these variations are consequences of an effective treatment.

Could it Affect My Brain?

Medication for this kind of illnesses is designed to affect the part of the brain which is not working correctly, to improve how a patient feels and thinks and allow them to be more like they want to.

However, there might be some unwanted side effects which could derive from the way in which the medication affects the brain. Of course, there is no magic or perfect medication that could offer only benefits and improvement; therefore you would have to balance side effects and benefits to decide if a prescription is the correct one for you.  

Am I Crazy if I Took Medication Like This?

Psychiatrists do not refer to mental illnesses as craziness; this is an old-fashion and unfortunate term which keeps on pervade how people think about them.

It is necessary to clarify that mental illnesses are diseases of the brain and mind, so taking medication is part of a plan to manage and re-establish a normal functioning of a person.

Sick woman reading medicine package

Do I Have to Take Pills for the Rest of My Life?

Because you are taking medication now, it does not mean that you have to do it for the rest of your life. Still, you should not stop taking it suddenly without consulting a professional.

A patient should leave medication in a controlled way, reducing the dose as recommended by the doctor and within a trial plan to avoid relapsing or repeated episodes.

Could I Become Addicted to Pills?

Mental illness medication is not addicting, but some tranquilizers or sleep medication might develop tolerance in our body or dependence in some people. This might also happen with pain medication. If it is the case, each professional will know how to handle the situation and will assess you on how to proceed.

May I Gain Weight?

Many patients are concern about their weight gain, especially women and this is because unwanted weight gain is one of the side effects that medication might bring about. Knowing that it is a possibility, weight can be control, and a healthy diet could help to maintain weight. On the other hand, physical activity might contribute not only to weight gaining but also to mental problems.  

May I Consume Alcohol While Taking Medication?

Excessive drinking, in general, is not suitable for any person even if you are not under medication.  If you experience alcohol problems or drug abuse disorder, abstinence should be your primary priority. Alcohol may interfere with the treatment by altering your blood levels of medication.

For people with no alcohol or drug problem, it is not an inconvenience to have a drink once in awhile; a moderate drinking should not affect the treatment. Be aware that a drink while taking medication might make you feel like you are having two or three.

These are some of the inquiries future patients, patients and family usually ask when facing a psychiatric treatment. You should have all your doubts removed before stating with any medication. Feel free to ask as many questions as you have so a professional can help you understand and feel more confident about your decision.

psychologist talking to her patient

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Psychiatrist?

Nowadays, a considerable amount of people is consulting psychiatrists due to anxiety or depression, lack of joy or dissatisfaction in personal relationships, self-sabotaging behavior, avoiding intimacy, personal crisis connected to a failed love relationship, illnesses, death or even job stress. They might also experience uncertainty about future goals or objectives or the sensation of being stuck in life.

If you feel that any of these problems are happening to you, it would be wise to talk to a professional. You may find help and comfort while trying to solve the issue and you would probably gather some tools that might be useful shortly.

Not many people know how therapy works which makes them doubt about making an appointment. How is the session planned? Do I have to tell a stranger about my whole life? However, when you see a psychiatrist, it is not different to other medical consultations.

The psychiatrist would ask you the reason that brought you there, explain how the treatment is going to be and how you are going to accomplish healing. Additionally, the consultation is confidential unless your life is in danger, or you might damage somebody else.

psychologist talking to her patient

The Psychiatrist

The therapist’s primary goal would be to help you to gain confidence to go back to your “normal” life. So, it is essential to create a stable therapist-patient bond or relationship. An empathic environment should be built. Therefore, your concerns and stressors can be discussed in an open and supportive (non-judgmental) way; you might feel relaxed and safe to share more inquiries during a session.

The purpose is not to provide a straightforward solution to your problems but to help and facilitate tools for you to find insights and solutions while working on complicated matters.

Psychological therapy

Proper guidance for you.

We know that working on personal issues is not a simple task and it involves deep commitment not only from your side but also from the therapist´s. That is why we are ready to guide you through your recovery process towards a beneficial and positive change and growth.

At first, you might feel a bit uneasy because you are experiencing something new, it might be overwhelming and emotionally challenging to confront specific topics and realities. Besides, you might reveal painful, embarrassing or shameful feelings or emotions, or maybe some troubling memories during the session. All of them would push you to confrontation, exploration, and understanding of yourself to be able to solve them.

The starting point for a good therapy might include tenancy, trust, and comprehension of emotions and feelings to make considerable progress. The transitions might be hard, and you might undergo various stages, but as you will see, with mutual respect and the right psychiatric support and guidance, you will be able to overcome what is affecting you and, at the same time, get favorable tools that will help you in the future.

The psychiatrist must be fully involved and be convinced that the human spirit can grow and change. It would take a profound compromise and perseverance on everyone´s part to continue no matter what, even if you do not immediately see the solution. The most fundamental step to perceive the transformations and improvements is your and the therapist commitment.

The benefits of seeing a psychiatrist.

There might be plenty of benefits for you to start seeing a psychiatrist. Among them, you will identify:

A significant help to change your personal and, maybe, professional life;
To confront your fears so you can come to terms with your reality;
To control and to alleviate your emotions;
To overcome traumatic experiences and to be able to solve personal issues with   guidance and support;
To developed trust (therapist-patient) and confidence in yourself and with others;
To return to a healthy status;
To gain an objective perspective and a professional opinion about your problems to figure out how to solve them.

Man crying during psychotherapy

Does everyone need medication?

It might be necessary to precise that not all the patients need medication to start their treatment. It would depend on the problems you have and the therapist’s opinion. The psychiatrist will facilitate you enough information about the medication so that you can take a balanced decision about the risks, benefits and treatment options.

The professional will work with you to decide if you need the medication or not and which one is appropriate for you. On the other hand, it is a must for you and your psychiatrist to follow the same path, because, in the end, the ultimate decision whether to take medicine or not, will be in your hands.

Today, we can find a wide variety of medications on the market, which had been approved as beneficial for the patient´s recovery. There are several possibilities according to each psychiatric problem. Not only your present situation but your history of medication should be analyzed to assess you correctly.

At this point, you would be working with your psychiatrist, and together you will find the medication or combinations of medicine that is appropriate for your treatment. Every time you have an appointment, your prescription would be evaluated and adjusted if it is necessary, regarding dosing or adding a new one to gain better results.

Each medicine could take between a week or two to have a noticeable effect and a month and a half or two months to have maximal efficiency. Consequently, it would be sensible to employ other types of treatments while waiting for the medicinal results. This kind of therapy might have a significant, as well as, positive outcome on mental illnesses as soon as you start regular sessions and it might be a solid starting point until medication adequately serves its purpose.

Do it for you

If you are experiencing negative thoughts, if you find yourself lost and you cannot see a way out, call a professional. If you are constant and responsible, in a brief period, you would see how your life gets better. With proper medication and a comprehensive guidance, you will find the solution to your problems. Psychiatrists are well trained and have all the elements for you to feel safe and respected to make the best of each session for you.