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Frequently asked questions:

What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)? 

A masters prepared individual who works across the medical and psychological disciplines to therapeutically engage with patients.  A PMHNP is able to both prescribe medications and engage client's in therapy.   

What is the education of a PMHNP? 

PMHNPs must have at least a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a post-master’s certificate prior to practice. 


Why should I see a PMHNP? 

There is a connection between emotional/mental and physical health and this connection can impact individuals differently.  Feelings of sadness, anger, excessive happiness, or feeling that you are different than those around you can be confusing and a PMHNP can work with you to evaluate what is happening and determine the best treatment plan for you.  This may be medication, medication and therapy or even a referral to another health care professional.   


How do emotional and mental health issues impact a person?  

Long periods of stress (i.e. depression, anxiety, worry, etc.) can lead to increased blood sugars, blood pressure, weight gain, physical aches/pains and so many more things.  


But do I need medication?  Therapy?  Both?  

This depends on the person and what is happening!  There are times when a person may need one or the other - but there are times that it is helpful, and potentially necessary, to have both.  Medication is a tool - it can't fix everything.  It can help to decrease symptoms so that the work an individual is doing in therapy is a bit easier to access.


Do I have to be in therapy to have medication with you at your practice?   

While the decision to engage in therapy is personal, there are times when this is a necessity in working with someone who is also prescribing medications.  While there is no set requirement to engage in therapy, this will be discussed on an individual basis.  


Can I become addicted to the medications I take?  

The majority of medications that are used are not addictive.  Medications that are addictive are closely monitored with the prescriber and you and your prescriber will have ongoing conversations about how you are feeling and a plan to taper the medication.  

Will I need to take medications for the rest of my life? 

Every person and situation is different.  There are many people who take medications for a short period of time and others who need them for longer periods of time.  You and your prescriber should be talking at each appointment about how you are feeling, any progress you feel has been made and reviewing potential options for ongoing treatment.  It is important to talk about any concerns that you have or desire to stop taking medications before doing so. 

Why shouldn't I just stop taking medications? 

Medication can help decrease, sometimes relieve, symptoms and the person taking the medications feels it isn't needed any more.  That is a wonderful feeling!  If you want to stop taking your medications, it is safest to talk with your prescriber so that this can happen safely and without unpleasant, or potentially serious, events happening.  There are also some medications that require tapering due to potential medical side effects.  


What do I need to bring to my office visit?
A copy of your insurance card if this has not been provided to the office ahead of time.  Any additional documents (i.e. testing, education plans, doctor's notes), a list of medications that you are taking, and any providers names and contact information that will be helpful to coordinate with in your care.  


What conditions does a PMHNP usually treat?
ADHD  (Attention deficit)
Anxiety disorders
Bipolar disorders
Developmental Delays

Disruptive Behavior Disorders 

Insomnia and other sleep disorders

Mood disorders 
Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) 
Post-partum depression 
Psychotic disorders (Schizophrenia, hallucinations, etc.)
Panic disorders
Trauma Disorders 

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