Our specialists have been able to achieve results when others could not. The Chesapeake Center’s medical staff is highly experienced in treating a broad range of conditions and collaborate with their patient’s entire treatment team to coordinate care.
Questions, Concerns, Our Process & Treament Model
Questions and Concerns:
We tried medication before with little or no success. Many clients come to us already taking medication prescribed by a primary care physician with limited experience in treating this complex disorder. While this may work for some with ADHD, many clients tell us that their PCP or pediatrician prescribed a stimulant after spending very little time getting to know them and their situation well. Often, clients come to us not knowing exactly what to expect from their stimulant medication. Many have stopped taking the prescribed medication because they don’t like the side effects. If medication is part of the treatment program for you or your child, we want to make sure that what is prescribed is helpful for your ADHD as well as any other conditions that may be present.
You’ll find ADHD expertise at Chesapeake. We are a group of experienced and highly trained mental health professionals. All of us specialize in ADHD and related disorders. Often, when not getting results with a general practitioner, pediatrician or general psychiatrist, our clients will seek us out for a second opinion. Our center has a team of specialists that have chosen ADHD and co-existing conditions like anxiety and depression as their focus. They stay current with the latest medications on the market and are able to achieve results when others could not.
We may not prescribe only stimulants for you or your child’s ADHD because our experience, supported by a large body of research, shows that stimulants work best in conjunction with treatment that focuses on brain-healthy habits, life management skills, and counseling or psychotherapy to address individual and family concerns. Our staff psychiatrists do not focus on medication alone, but also emphasizes the importance of adequate nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and adequate structure. We work as a team, often collaborating and referring our patients to other providers when additional types of treatment are recommended.
Many parents are reluctant to have their child or teen take stimulant medication. If we believe that medication may be helpful as part of a comprehensive treatment approach, we will make that recommendation, but it is entirely the parent’s choice how to proceed. Our staff psychiatrists will make an extra effort to educate parents about the risks and benefits of medications, while simultaneously helping parents to understand that they in no way are obligated to chose medication as a treatment.
If you are an adult considering stimulant medication, it’s important to understand that our goal is to do a careful and complete assessment before prescribing medication. In some cases, where a clear diagnosis has already been established and there are no other medical complications to consider, we may prescribe medication at the time of the first visit. In most cases, however, our psychiatrists will conduct a detailed assessment, including a careful records review, and may require more than one consultation to make recommendations regarding medication. ADHD is a complex disorder, often found with other disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. For this reason, we do thorough assessments before deciding what medication(s) will be most helpful in your particular situation.
Our Process & Treatment Model
When we prescribe medication for children and adolescents, it is never a stand-alone treatment, but is always part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include individual therapy, family therapy, parent coaching, school consultations, ADHD coaching, or professional organizing services.
How does our process work?
The process for beginning medication management is a two-part interview. The first-hour session is a diagnostic interview. After this assessment, the doctor will decide if a medication treatment strategy is recommended.
If it is determined to be appropriate, then at the second appointment, medication is prescribed and considerations such as titration, side effects and desired results will be covered.
Why do I need a two-part interview?
1) We need to either diagnose or confirm a prior diagnosis before prescribing. Our clients come to us for the level of expertise we provide. We utilize a much more detailed intake assessment to ensure we are exploring all contributing factors and possible diagnoses and co-existing conditions before making recommendations. This process takes close to two hours to do effectively.
2) There are times where either the client decides not to proceed with medication or the doctor determines that medication is not appropriate. We do not want our clients to incur the cost of a two-part intake if they are not going to stay in our care.
Can I do part-one and part-two of the intake the same day?
Generally this is not preferred. There are often questionnaires
How often do I have to come to the center for medication management?
Initially, if you are starting a new medication strategy, you will need to be seen three to four weeks after your part-two intake. If the medication needs to be adjusted due to need of an increased dose, addition of a new medication or lack of improvement of symptoms the doctor will likely want to see you every four to six weeks. This will vary based upon the case and the determination of the doctor.
Once the patient is reporting good results and is stable on their new prescription, you will need to come back to the center every three months (four times a year) for ongoing medication management. We do not exceed three months between visits as that is best practice.