Our Psychiatrist and Medication
Our Psychiatrist and Medication for Mental Health Issues
You are probably looking at this webpage because you or someone you care about is suffering with some type of emotional disturbance or other issue that has been successfully treated with the use of medicine. We believe in the power of counseling and psychotherapy. However, at times, medicine is a useful tool in treating certain types of issues and/or their symptoms.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They are different from psychologists and counselors in that they not only have training in psychology and mental health, but have also been to medical school, which means they are able to prescribe medicine to help treat some mental health disorders. This often works best in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy (counseling).
Where We Provide These Services (Office Location):
Chupik Counseling offers counseling, psychotherapy, psychological testing and other mental health services for all ages in four locations: Austin, Cedar Park, Temple and Killeen.
Currently, psychiatric services (medicine) are only available in the Temple and Killeen area for adults ages 18 and over. However, our psychologists and counselors in Austin and Cedar Park work closely with primary care physicians and other medical professionals when medication is necessary.
What to Expect
Skilled clinicians are in high demand and there is a short supply, especially in our area of Central Texas. The result is that in many traditional settings, such as hospitals, many appointments are short, and the doctor has little time to get to know the patient.
We take a different approach at Chupik Counseling. Here, you will have your doctor’s full attention, and she will listen to what you have to say. She will give you the benefit of your entire scheduled appointment time.
Initial psychiatric evaluations generally last 50 minutes, and follow-ups last 30 minutes. During the initial evaluation, the doctor will ask questions about your medical history, presenting issues, and any medications that you have taken in the past. A thorough evaluation and in-depth discussion with your doctor will lead to a better treatment plan, and ultimately better results. We appreciate all our patients and want them to be able to develop a good relationship with their medical professional.
Meet Our Psychiatrist, Sharon Necessary, MD
Dr. Necessary is in private practice at Chupik Counseling and sees clients ages 18 and up. Dr. Necessary has been on the clinical faculty at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, where she taught medical students and residents. She has worked as a hospitalist and in various outpatient settings over her 20+ year career.
Dr. Necessary is passionate about helping our military members and has worked with veterans and active duty soldiers, as well as their families. Her experience includes working at the Ben Taub Emergency Room in Houston, and the MHMR system in Texas. She has served as the Medial Director at several hospitals and agencies. Dr. Necessary has experience treating a wide range of issues, from common disorders to chronic and debilitating mental illness.
Which Issues and Disorders Can Be Treated with Medication?
Psychiatric medications are most effective for disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder and other Anxiety Disorders. They have been used to great effect in the treatment of Sexual Dysfunction, including Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can often be relieved by medications. ADHD symptoms are often improved with medications. Schizophrenic Spectrum disorders are often well-controlled with medications. Medications are also very useful in relieving withdrawal symptoms during detox and substance abuse treatment.
While the following is not a complete list, these are some of the common disorders that are often treated with medication, as well as psychotherapy:
- Adult ADHD
- Bipolar disorders
- Mood disorders
- Panic disorders
- Sexual Dysfunction/ Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Smoking Cessation
- Substance Abuse
Our Psychiatric Treatment Approach
Before we can assume that psychological factors are causing presenting symptoms, we must rule out organic (medical) illnesses. An honest discussion of symptoms, history and any substance abuse issues that may be present is key to success.
We use a compassionate, direct and practical approach to treatment. We will invite frank discussion from the patient and always wish to know the patient’s opinion of any mental health medication or treatment option under consideration. We will answer any questions the patient may have about their illness or medications and side effects.
First, we will determine which symptoms are causing the patient the most distress. Second, we will explore which medication—among all the medications available—is best for this particular patient. We must consider possible side effects, possible interactions with other medications, cost of the medication and which medications have been effective for this patient or a close family member in the past. It is then important to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and any side effects. We will set periodic check-ups to allow us to monitor progress, and may make changes along the way.
If therapy (counseling) is needed, we can refer you to a therapist that has the experience to work with you as you continue taking medication. A holistic treatment plan often includes psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or other approaches used by our counselors in conjunction with medications provided by your psychiatrist.
A Personal Message From Dr. Necessary
“I believe my own life experience has taught me tolerance, patience and the importance of each person’s unique qualities. Patients have said that they appreciate that they know I am actually listening to what they have to say. I try to be respectful of each patient’s personal life history and I try to understand why this patient is having symptoms or difficulties at this particular time. I honor confidentiality of a person’s information. Patients know that I am doing my best to help them and will work with them to achieve improvement in their symptoms.”
How Do Medications Work?
Some psychiatric disorders are caused by an imbalance of the chemicals in our brains. Our nervous system depends upon certain neurotransmitters (chemicals) for the proper functioning of the neurons. These nerve cells are responsible for our thinking, memory, mood and perceptions of the environment around us. Antidepressant medications are helpful in restoring a balance in these chemicals, especially serotonin and norepinephrine.
For example, in illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, the brain has a deficiency in dopamine, which causes abnormal movements and other symptoms. Medications can improve the balance of dopamine with the other brain chemicals.
In PTSD and some anxiety disorders, a person may experience a persistent state of hyper-arousal, or hyper-vigilance, or feel dread or fear for unknown reasons. Psychiatric medications can be helpful in suppressing this hyper-arousal and relieving some of the feelings of fear or worry.
It is important to understand that a medication must be taken as directed by your doctor and must be taken regularly. The medications should not be used intermittently or stopped without consulting with your physician. If a medication needs to be discontinued, then tapering off slowly is the best approach in most cases, unless an allergy to the medication is present.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Certain types of medicine can be abused and misused. We take precautions to ensure that the patients who are being seen at our practice are not seeking prescriptions for unhealthy, unethical or illegal reasons. If you feel that you have a problem or addiction to some type of medicine, we encourage you to inform us of this up front. There is no shame in this, and often, we can help you find a better solution to the problem. The medical professionals who work in our practice take a conservative view of medicine and will not prescribe without a thorough evaluation and thoughtful consideration of all means of treatment.
Payment for Services
Chupik Counseling accepts both private pay and insurance for psychiatric services.
Dr. Necessary accepts the following insurances:
- Scott & White Health Plan (SWHP)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United (UBH)
Private pay rates are affordable and competitive for our area.
We Are Here for You
We invite you to contact our office if you have questions, or would like to schedule an appointment. You can reach us by calling 254-773-4022, ext. 0, between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. Or you may click on “Request Appointment” above. We look forward to helping you.