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What to expect when your loved one begins taking medication for mental health in Maine


When medication is prescribed by your loved one’s mental health provider in Maine, patience is the key.

There are many different types of medication for mental illness, and different combinations of medication may be used depending on your loved one’s diagnosis and body makeup.

Trial and error is common.

Be patient. Quite often, the most effective medication or combination of medications is found only through a process of trial and error. This can be very frustrating for you and your loved one, especially if they experience side effects from their new medication.
Don’t give up hope! When a medication does work, your loved one will feel much better!
To stay on top of which medication(s) work best (or have been tried and rejected)—keep track of all medications, dosage amounts and what happened when your loved one took a particular medication. This medication log template may help you keep track.

Keeping a log is very helpful if your loved one changes doctors or therapists. If you’re looking for a mental health professional, here are tips for finding Maine psychiatric service providers or therapists in Maine.

Keep in mind…

  • Just because your loved one has begun a medication doesn’t mean he/she is “cured.” Some medications may work and some may not. It often takes 2-6 weeks for people to begin feeling the positive effects of a medication. If they don’t feel better, a new medication might be needed and the waiting period begins all over again.
  • Some people choose NOT to use medication. If your loved one is over 18, the choice is entirely his/hers. Read up on the pros and cons of medication for mental illness and have a calm discussion with your loved one if possible. You can start your search at Mental Health America medication page.

IMPORTANT! If your loved one’s having a very negative reaction to a new medication (or combination) and needs help now:

  • Call the Maine Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1-888-568-1112 to connect to your closest crisis center for professional guidance, follow-up care and support.
  • Or, if your loved one’s behavior becomes unpredictable and you feel they may hurt someone or themselves, call 911 and tell them it’s a mental health concern. Provide the diagnosis (if you have it) and tell them whether or not you’ve called the Maine Crisis Hotline.

Visit our Maine Mental Health Crisis: For Your Loved One page for more information.

Words of Hope

"Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory. "
- Norman Vincent Peale


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Family Hope is Maine's resource for finding mental health services. We do not endorse any one program or organization. Our mission is to connect you to options, saving you time and frustration.
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