Preparing for Your Medication Evaluation

Preparing for Your Medication Evaluation

So, you’ve done your research.

Given it some thought.

And you believe medication could be an important part of your emotional wellness care?

Congratulations! For many of us, it is.

The next step is to schedule a medication evaluation.

In this appointment, you’ll sit down with a trained medication management professional to determine if medication might be helpful to you.

It’s also a chance to communicate your needs and preferences, discuss any questions you’re having, and collaborate with your provider to create a plan that works for you.

You can cover a lot of ground in this appointment! So, it’s worth preparing.

Read on for 5 ways to prepare for your medication evaluation:

1. Clarify your goals.

One of the best ways you can prepare for your medication evaluation is to get crystal-clear on your emotional wellness goals.

Pharmaceutical commercials often say, “Struggling with depression? Ask your doctor about {INSERT NAME OF MEDICATION HERE}“.

But, in reality, it’s much more helpful to come to this appointment with a more detailed picture of how you want your life to feel.

If you woke up tomorrow able to live the life you want, what would have to change in your thinking, your emotions, and your behaviors?

Clearly communicating your goals will help your provider make decisions about how medication might be able to help you.

And that’s the whole point!

Prepare for your medication evaluation: 

  • Consider your thoughts: What thoughts have you been noticing yourself having lately? What changes do you hope to see in your thinking over time?
  • Consider your emotions: How have you been feeling these days? What changes do you wish to see in your emotions over time?
  • Consider your behaviors: Are you behaving in ways that are frustrating or concerning to you (or to others)? What behavioral changes would you like to see in yourself over time?
  • Consider your lifestyle: In general, are you a morning person or a night owl? How active are you? Do you work outside the home? What kinds of support do you have in your life? What are your interests/hobbies?

2. Gather your materials.

Perhaps this is the first time you’ve ever considered medication for your emotional wellness.

Or maybe you’re no stranger to medication and are simply seeking reevaluation.

Regardless, it’s essential to come to this appointment with some key pieces of information.

Prepare for your medication evaluation: 

  • Make a list of your current medications. For each medication, write down the name, dosage, prescribing provider’s name, how long you’ve been taking it, and any notes about how it seem to be working, any side effects, etc.
  • Make a list of any past medications. Anything you’ve been prescribed in the past for emotional wellness; note why you discontinued each.
  • Prepare paperwork. Working with a therapist? Signing a simple release form can enable them to communicate with your medication management provider.
  • Bring anything else that seems relevant. Perhaps you’ve kept a journal for awhile that offers insight into your emotional wellness. (No need to bring the whole journal– just spend some time reviewing it and jot down a few themes or patterns you’ve noticed.) Or maybe you’ve received a legal document or treatment discharge letter that contains important information. Bring it along, just in case.

3. Enlist help if needed.

This appointment is about you and your emotional wellness.

And you know yourself best, so take a minute and consider:

What do you need to help you make the most of this medication evaluation?    

Prepare for your medication evaluation: 

  • Open the lines of communication. If you’ve worked with a provider in the past who may have useful, relevant information to share, ask to sign a release so they can communicate with your medication management provider.
  • Bring a support person. Will having a loved one or support worker present at your appointment help you relax, focus, and/or communicate more effectively? Invite them to join you. Even if they simply wait in the reception area, a familiar face can be reassuring.
  • Plan ahead to remember. If you’re concerned about remembering all of your questions, bring a list to your appointment, along with a notepad and pen to jot down key information you learn. (If someone else joins you for part or all of your appointment, you can ask them to listen and take notes for you.)

4. Remember self-care.

Your medication evaluation is nothing to be worried about.

But, it is important.

So, don’t forget about your self-care!

Prepare for your medication evaluation: 

  • Get quality sleep.
  • Be mindful (but not judgmental!) of how you’re feeling leading up to the appointment.
  • Block off some time to care for yourself in whichever ways you prefer.

5. Commit to taking action.

Whatever your life is like right now, it didn’t get that way in an hour.

So, don’t expect everything to change in one appointment.

Instead, shift your mindset and commit to taking some sort of action around your medication evaluation.

Remember: It doesn’t have to be monumental action. It just has to be action taken by you.

Prepare for your medication evaluation: 

 


Enjoy this post? You might also like:

Medication: 7 Questions You Might Be Asking
Therapy 101: How to Prepare for Therapy
3 Myths About Emotional Wellness

 

Interested in scheduling a medication evaluation?

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT NOW