Mental health is often neglected by individuals but plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall physical health and well-being. Seeing a psychiatrist can be a beneficial and even essential step for many. Fortunately, focusing on self-care and good mental health is gaining more prevalence in today's society, encouraging many to recognize symptoms, look for warning signs, and get the help they need.
What is a psychiatrist?
It is important to note that there are several professionals who can help patients with mental health issues, including:
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Mental health nurses
- Primary care physicians
Psychiatrists are different from other psychology professionals because they are licensed medical doctors who are also highly trained in mental health. These qualifications allow them to not just offer beneficial therapy options but prescribe medications and perform procedures as well.
What treatments do they offer?
Because they are licensed medical professionals, these experts have the qualifications to diagnose patients with a specific mental health disorder or issue. There are many ways this can be done. For some, it involves consultations and one-on-one conversations while taking other factors into consideration, such as medical and family history and the nature and severity of symptoms. Testing may be required in other situations before obtaining an accurate diagnosis.
Psychiatrists are also qualified to perform several services and to help patients in unique ways because of their extensive medical training. They are equipped to treat a variety of mental and behavioral health concerns.
People who become physically or emotionally dependent on a specific substance or behavior may be diagnosed with an addiction. Some of the most common examples include:
Patients with addiction problems can be treated through medication, talk therapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and more. Their physical and mental health can also be evaluated to search for underlying issues or pre-existing conditions that may contribute to addiction issues. It is important to note that those with a drug or alcohol addiction should never attempt to detox on their own. Always seek the help of a medical professional first.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often diagnosed during childhood but can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Patients with this condition are often impulsive, unable to focus, restless, and more prone to engage in risky behavior. Medication is the go-to treatment plan for people with ADHD, along with behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and social skills training. A psychiatrist can build a complete treatment plan for patients to suit their unique symptoms and needs.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in today's society, but many do not seek professional help for their symptoms. Under professional care, patients with moderate and even severe anxiety can find practical ways to better manage their symptoms. Antidepressants and sedatives can be helpful in terms of medication, while talk therapy, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and even meditation can be utilized to address stressors, triggers, and underlying issues.
Depression is a broad term that covers dozens of depressive disorders and symptoms. A medical professional can create a well-rounded treatment plan that includes medication, therapy, or both to create a better mood balance for patients. There are many different types of antidepressants; a doctor can help you choose the type that is right for you based on your symptoms and medical history. Talk therapy, light therapy, and even some types of brain stimulation therapies may also be beneficial.
When should you see a psychiatrist?
While it may sound intimidating and overwhelming to schedule an appointment, these mental health specialists can help a wide variety of people with mild to severe symptoms. In fact, they are often the right choice for many patients because they can provide numerous treatment options alongside a wealth of mental health knowledge and experience.
There are many situations that warrant a visit. Persistent feelings of sadness are certainly a cause for concern but are not the only signs of a potential mental health issue. Abnormally elevated stress levels, feelings of intense anger or irritability, relentless worry or fear, or any inability to cope with everyday demands should be addressed by a professional. You may also need to see a psychiatrist if you have trouble sleeping or difficulty focusing, or have lost interest in things you once enjoyed.
Some warning signs require treatment without delay. Contact a medical professional immediately if you have:
- Thoughts of harming yourself or others
- Suicidal thoughts, plans, or tendencies
- Delusions, hallucinations, or are hearing voices
- Physical dependence on certain substances or activities
- Symptoms of an eating disorder, such as bulimia or anorexia
- Any symptom that compromises your health or safety (or that of those around you)
What should you expect during a psychiatry appointment?
During your first consultation, be prepared to answer plenty of questions, as your doctor will take this opportunity to understand your symptoms and needs as clearly and completely as possible. Try to make note of when your symptoms started, how frequently they occur, and what makes them worse or better. Bring a complete list of all medications and supplements you take. Research your family's medical and mental health history in advance as well.
Your time during appointments is limited, but it is important that you answer all questions fully and truthfully. This helps ensure you get the treatment you need. Many patients are embarrassed or too worried to be honest about their symptoms, but this only hinders a successful outcome.
While you should certainly make an appointment for serious symptoms, you do not need to wait for a crisis before seeing a mental health professional. In fact, waiting for things to escalate before reaching out for help can do much more harm than good. Once you have become an established patient, keep up with your appointments to help you avoid an unnecessarily difficult situation in the future.
A psychiatrist can help people with many types of mental health disorders. With their background and training, they can offer scientifically backed treatment options while still providing kind, helpful care.
Request an appointment here: https://albany.evolvepsychiatry.com or call Evolve Psychiatry at (518) 675-3097 for an appointment in our Albany office.
Evolve Psychiatry is located at
1365 Washington Avenue Suite 104
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