Why You Shouldn’t Go to Your Primary Care Doctor for Psychiatric Medication

If you’re interested in getting started with mental health medication or your current medication is no longer working for you, there are many options as far as where you can go to inquire about medication and get a prescription. A primary care doctor may be the easiest person to go to, but are they always the right choice when it comes to psychiatric medication?

The Purpose of Psychiatric Medication

Psychiatric medication, also known as mental health medication, is used to help individuals manage a mental health disorder. Different psychiatric medications are designed to treat specific conditions including anxiety, depression, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), bipolar disorder, and more.

Medication cannot cure these conditions, but it can treat the symptoms and can help users manage their mental health long-term. Medication may make it possible for individuals to increase performance at school or work, strengthen their personal relationships and self-esteem, and live a more fulfilling and happy life. When choosing where to go to receive a prescription for psychiatric medication, it’s important for individuals to choose a provider that has all the necessary tools to set them up for success.

Why Shouldn’t You Go to Your Doctor for Psychiatric Medication?

While it can depend on a person’s situation, it is usually best to go somewhere that isn’t their primary care physician for mental health medications. This is due to a couple of main reasons:

  1. Primary care doctors usually have less specialized training in mental health than psychiatrists. They have some training in that field and know the basics, but most lack the training to know whether or not a patient is likely to respond to a certain medication.
  1. PCPs aren’t always comfortable with making judgment calls about treatment for mental health conditions. Psychiatrists are more knowledgeable about which types of therapists or methods would work best for an individual.

Keep in mind that this all depends on the patient and their condition. If someone has a mental health disorder that is relatively mild and straightforward, it may make sense for them to go to their primary care doctor for psychiatric medication. But if a person’s condition is more complex, they should see a psychiatrist that specializes in treating mental health.

Where to Get Psychiatric Medication

Ultimately, it’s recommended to go to a psychiatrist for psychiatric medication. Not only are they trained in medication-based mental health treatment, but they’re also more familiar with therapy and other treatment methods. In some cases, however, people may not have access to a psychiatrist.

When those instances come up, there are other options. As we discussed earlier, a primary care physician is certainly able to write a prescription for mental health medication if a psychiatrist isn’t available. Additionally, there are some online providers that can ship mental health medication to individuals for little to no cost. At the end of the day, people who want to use psychiatric medication should choose a provider that feels right for them.

To learn more about psychiatric medication or to get started with treatment, contact our team of mental health specialists by giving us a call at 866-552-3758 or sending an email to contact@eliumhealth.com.




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