Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

What if the person does not improve?

If the person’s condition does not improve, consider the following possible reasons for this:

• Poor compliance. Make sure the person has understood thedosage and reason for the prescription. Poor compliance with medicines may occur because the person feels better and decides that there is no more need for medicines. Another reason may be that the person is worried about becoming addicted to the medicines. Side-effects can also make a persons top taking a medication (see below).

• Not enough medicine. This is especially important with antidepressants,which are often prescribed in too small a dose.

• Medicines not taken for long enough. Again, this problem applies mainly to antidepressants. These medicines take at least twoweeks at the recommended dose before a positive response isobtained.

• Wrong diagnosis. People may be withdrawn and tired because they are depressed or, in some cases, because they arepsychotic. An antidepressant may not help in the latter case.Reconsider your diagnosis only if you are sure that the patienthas been taking the full recommended dose for at least one month.

If, despite the above considerations, your patient still fails to improve, you may need to consider a referral to the nearest specialist centre.

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