Recovery needs medical treatment, too

If you have a person who has been taking psychotropic medications for a good part of their life, and if you listen to all the disclaimers about side effects of medications on the tube, you can’t help but get the idea that you need to weigh the good and the bad of taking almost any medication. Some psychotropic meds will cause weight gain, which can lead to obesity and plenty of times – diabetes. Another psychotropic med will lower one’s white cell count, which sure isn’t good for fighting any infection.

The behavioral health field sees those individuals who experience the effects of mental illness and/or addictions the same as any other individual. We all want the same things: health, independence and the ability to reach our full potential. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has identified four major dimensions that support a life in recovery: health, home, purpose and community. Pretty much follows what we all want doesn’t it?

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board doesn’t directly see clients. The board is the administrative piece that plans for, contracts to provide and monitors/evaluates services to clients. Our providers of services offer counseling, case management, intensive outpatient and inpatient services. More services are available, but you get the idea.

So their primary job is to assist an individual manage the symptoms of their mental illness – often through medication. This is no different than managing high blood pressure or diabetes through medication. Like a physical illness, medication is not effective for everyone until the right medication is found, and that may take a little time.

To optimize the use of medications, the client/patient must be informed, engaged in their care and involved in doing the right things to minimize symptoms and optimize their health. We wish the best of health for our loved ones and will help them avoid spikes in their blood sugar when possible. The same is true with a person who suffers from depression.

While this has biological underpinnings, we can still – to some degree -help our loved one avoid environments or alcohol that may bring on a cycle of depression. The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties reminds everyone is that as a society, we have assumed people with mental illness or addictions have a limited future and little to contribute. Recovery brings hope. People can and do heal, they manage their illness, and they live healthy and productive lives.

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. It has a website,, and a link to our Facebook page. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The board’s hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.

Nancy Cochran,

executive director