Work first with the individual on their negative self-talk and possibly low self-confidence and anxieties. Emphasize that there are a number of ways to feel well again, and that medication is merely one of these. Communicate that mental health conditions are not unlike other health conditions that they can affect anyone and that they are not a sign of ‘weakness’.
Explain that psychotropic medication does not alter one’s personality or make one a ‘different person’. They are merely an option to get the improvement process started and to support and maintain it, where this is desired.
One should also tell clients that their medication can be discontinued – preferably after consultation with their therapist and the prescriber – if the client so wishes. In some cases of severe mental illnesses, it may be important, however, to tell the client not to change the medication without talking to the prescriber first.
Patience is the key here. Any attempt to rush the client into a premature decision is likely to backfire and could also compromise the therapeutic relationship. Of course, waiting for clients to decide does not mean a clinician cannot offer an opinion. On the contrary, if the clinician knows that evidence-based literature supports a pharmacological treatment of a particular condition, this information should be conveyed to the client.
Encourage clients to inform themselves about their condition and the treatment options, such as medication, while alerting them to high quality sources of information, on- and offline.
Encourage clients to ask questions. Straightforward answers help to demystify the decision making process. In this way, clients can make informed choices regarding the importance of medication for their particular condition.
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1 thought on “How to help someone overcome resistance to psychotropic medication”
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