College is a time for young adults to find their independence, and begin to take responsibility for things that were previously handled by their parents.
While much of college is practicing proper nutrition, hygiene, scheduling, and organization, it also is the first time for many young adults to be responsible for managing their mental health and associated medication.
Let’s take a look at preparing your young adult for the importance that is medication and mental health management as they embark on their first prolonged adventure away from home.
Medication Management In College: Starting Early
Medication management can take a lot of practice. After all, it comes with a lot of separate responsibilities. That is why it is best to start having your young adult get comfortable with the process of managing their medication during their final year of high school.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can get your teenager involved in their own medication management before they head off for college.
Making A Schedule
Getting organized can be one of the most daunting things about managing one’s mental health care. Whether it is making sure different meds are taken at the appropriate times, and on the appropriate days, knowing when prescription refills run out, or when appointments need to be made, staying on top of mental health care can be hard.
It is best to start going over the different aspects of medication management during high school. We suggest at the beginning of everything month, putting important times and dates into a smartphone calendar with alarms.
During the final year of high school, students can start to understand during what weeks and/or months they need to be planning on scheduling appointments, calling pharmacies for refills, as well as checking quantities of medication they have on hand.
Practice makes perfect, and with all the moving parts to managing medication as a freshman in college, it can take a lot of practice before your teenager truly feels comfortable.
Making Appointments & Refilling Prescriptions
One of the most simple things young adults can start to do to take control of their mental health care is getting comfortable making appointments. Even if that seems like a relatively small step, it is a crucial part of medication management in college.
We suggest having your teenager call and make their own appointments starting in high school. They do not need to be fully responsible for planning these appointments at this point, but even just sitting with them and having them physically make the call makes a world of difference.
They can get familiar with the process and what to ask for, they can also learn about insurance, co-pays, and other more complicated aspects of medication management.
We also recommend having your young adult call in their own prescriptions starting in high school. You can remind them when it is time, but make sure they understand where to call, what to ask for, and all the associated payments or roadblocks they might encounter.
Talk About Partying
Part of medication management is understanding the side effects and risks associated with medication. College is naturally a time of experimentation with substances such as alcohol and narcotics.
Some psychiatric medication has very serious interactions with drugs and alcohol. It is important to make sure your young adult understands these interactions, and that drugs and alcohol can at best make their psychiatric drugs ineffective, and at worst have gravely serious interactions.
For example, drinking on some antidepressants (MAOIs) not only makes them ineffective but can also result in high spikes in blood pressure. Drinking on some antipsychotic medications can create a compounded effect of suppressing the central nervous system, making intoxication much more severe and unexpected, leaving the individual susceptible to seizures or fainting.
Need A College Psychiatrist In Raleigh, Durham, of Chapel Hill? Make A Plan With Advaita Integrated Medicine!
We love working with anyone looking to manage their mental health. Especially college students at all our local universities in and around Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
Whether you are an incoming freshman or a returning doctoral student, give us a call today to discuss your needs. Our team at Advaita Integrated Medicine will make sure your medication is properly managed, all the necessary appointments are scheduled, and you are on a pathway to mental health success while you navigate college.
Looking to expand your mental health and wellness journies? Let’s chat. We offer integrated wellness coaching, therapy & counseling, and so much more. No matter where you are in your mental health journey, we are on your team. Give us a call today to set up an initial consultation.
Advaita Integrated Medicine Believes In Person-Focused Medication Management For Students
We understand that persons seeking treatment rarely present with a narrow siloed set of symptomatology. Mental health is inherently related to physical, social, and spiritual health. That’s why we have a team of providers skilled in addiction medicine, mental health, and primary care.
Advaita Integrated Medicine’s team of physicians, therapists, and coaches prioritize their own personal and professional growth so that we provide the most up-to-date best practices. We combine our areas of expertise with robust care coordination to help our patients achieve their wellness goals.
Next in this series blog post of this series, we will discuss some of the most common questions we get asked about medication management for college students, and how we would respond to each.
In this series, we are here to try and dispel some of the confusion and stigma around medication management for college students. Have questions that aren’t answered on our site? Contact us here – and we’ll get back to you with an answer.