Trial and error medication:
Even in the hands of the very best psychiatrists, prescribing medication is a trial and error process. The doctor evaluates patterns of symptoms, makes a diagnosis, then prescribes a medication that research has shown, on average, to be helpful to those with that diagnosis.
But there’s a rub: For most disorders, there are multiple medications that have been found effective. And no medication has been found to be effective for all individuals with that disorder. Individuals respond differently and there is no way to know from symptoms alone which medication is best for a given individual. So, it’s trial and error to find a medication that works.
Many people are helped by medication. But way too many people continue to struggle and suffer despite multiple attempts to get help. Many go from doctor to doctor. Take pill after pill. Some finally just give up, too discouraged to make another phone call, tell their tale again.
“Rob” is one example of the difficulties involved in psychiatric medication. He has struggled with anxiety and mood problems for several years. He was hospitalized once briefly, to little benefit. He had been tried on numerous medications in numerous combinations, also with little benefit. Psychotherapy helped some but he still suffered greatly. He has a great, supportive family. He’s very bright, funny, personable, sensitive, and compassionate. But because of his nervous system, he was just plain miserable. He could not rely on his own brain to get him through life.
Rob has a great, supportive family. He’s very bright, funny, personable, sensitive, and compassionate. But because of his nervous system, he was just plain miserable. His brain would not allow him to be the kind of guy he so badly wanted to be.
So he, his parents, and his prescriber decided to use an analysis of brain electrical activity which we offer (called MyndAnalytics) to provide further information to guide his medication prescription. We recorded his EEG from 19 sites on his head and the data were analyzed to show which classes of medication and which specific medication within a class has been shown to normalize the disrupted pattern of activity shown by his brain.
A brain test predicts medications:
The report indicated that two different medications were most likely to be impact his brain positively. Neither medication had been tried yet.
The first medication made a significant difference. Six weeks later the second medication was added. This also helped significantly.
Now he is doing better than he has in many years. His mood is better. He’s more active, getting exercise, being social, getting out of the house. He is less anxious and less intensely reactive. He’s on top of his school work and better organised, in charge of himself. He got his physics homework done ahead of time!
Finally, he and his parents can be optimistic about the future.
If you are one of those people who have struggled with the trial and error medication process, take a look!