“I struggled taking anti-psychotic and mood stabilising medications due to the side effects. I was able to get advice on managing these and a medication review which helped enormously.” Melvyn Travenen
Getting the right treatment can have a big impact on your recovery. For many people the goal may be to achieve a full recovery where no medication or other forms of treatment are needed. For others the long-term goal will be to find the minimum level of treatment that is effective.
- 1. What do you want to achieve?
- Because both medication and other therapies are combined in this one ‘life area’ of the Plan you need to take extra care that any non-medical treatment – including psychological therapy – is covered. Psychological therapies can be very important for many people with a serious mental illness, but they can be difficult to access. Our advice is that you ensure that any need for psychological therapies is recorded in the Care and Treatment Plan – and that psychological therapies are kept on the agenda in case any need arises in the future.
If you require medication our advice is that you should take account of its effectiveness, side-effects and any management issues when you discuss options with your doctor. If you are taking older antipsychotic medication the side-effects of your medication may be a significant issue. An example outcome might be to reduce the side-effects of your medication by trying a new medication or reducing dosage levels. We recommend that it is well worth some extra effort to manage a medication if it gives you the best results (for example, some medications may require you to take blood tests).
2. What actions need to be taken or services need to be provided to achieve your goals?
Next think about the actions that need to be taken to achieve your goals, and what services need to be provided to support you.
Services could include:
● Advice and guidance on antipsychotic medication or psychological therapies from a health professional
● Psychological therapy service.
Actions could include:
● Asking your doctor what psychological therapies are available and exercising choice
● Finding out about psychological therapies by accessing information or talking to your doctor
● Booking an appointment with your doctor to review your medication
● Finding out more about antipsychotic medications by getting information or talking to a pharmacist
● Choosing a private psychological therapist
● Asking for a different medication, taking account of efficacy, side-effects and management
● Arranging for your medication to be reviewed regularly
● Exploring ways to better manage your medication, e.g. by developing a strategy for remembering to take your medications
● Finding out more about complementary therapies.
3. Who can support you to achieve your goals?
The main people who can provide support in this area are your Psychiatrist, GP, Nurse, Psychologist and Psychotherapist.
Other supporters may include:
● Community Psychiatric Nurse
● Complementary therapist
● A family member and/or other carer
● Care Coordinator
More resources and links on Medical and other Forms of Treatment Including Psychological Interventions
In addition to Hafal’s guide to treatments (link below) you may want to look at…
● The Royal College of Psychiatrists has comprehensive information on treatments; access through the index here http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing.aspx
● Rethink’s guidance on treatments http://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment?gclid=CJnnmY-o08gCFaQIwwodRy8LIw
● Mind’s guidance on treatments http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/
● For a different perspective see Hafal’s American colleagues’ information here https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment – but remember this information is specific to the United States