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briefing in boardroom

How Do Psychiatrists Go About Treating Depression

Visiting a psychiatrist for the first time might be overwhelming for some people, mainly, because sometimes you don’t know what to expect, what is going to happen and hot to go about it. The unknown might prevent you from getting the help you need.

It is commonly believed that mental illnesses are different from the physical ones. This article will help you understand better what really entails visiting a psychiatrist.

To begin with, you would be surprised to find out that the visit is similar to any medical consultation that you might have experienced. The professional should remind you that what you discuss in the session is confidential (unless what you discussed is dangerous to themselves or someone else.)

Generally, the first visit is just a consultation where you and the psychiatrist get to know each other. You might discuss what brought you to visit the professional and you will continue working together from that point. Then, a series of questions might be asked you to help the psychiatrist get some information about your mental health, general health, and your family history.

When a patient goes to a clinic with a psychiatric/mental health concern, it is important to identify the medical causes. Depression, mania, anxiety and thought disorders might be caused by and may mimic medical problems such as thyroid disease, infections, medication side effects, hormone abnormalities and many other treatable medical conditions.

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How to Plan  a Treatment

When a patient suffers from depression, there are several treatments that can be applied. Each patient is different, unique and she or he attends with a history of treatment failures, treatment successes and treatment options which were not solved in the past.

The professional also has to rule out conditions like bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, psychosis, and addiction, as these conditions influence which medications would be suitable for the patient. A proper diagnosis is necessary to plan effective treatment.

The treatment might be based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, how much the depression impacts their ability to function at work and/or home and their history of previous treatments.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is one the most common initial treatment tool that is employed with my patients who suffer from depression. The type of therapy implemented should be specific to what the patient discussed during the session and subsequent follow-up visits. At the same time, it should be based on the type and intensity of therapy on the patient’s stressors, symptoms, and preference for the frequency of upcoming visits.

It may be quite enriching for patients to receive supportive therapy. At each appointment, the professional should provide an empathic environment in which any number of concerns and stressors in a supportive, non-judgmental and non-critical atmosphere can be discussed.

There are other types of psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). As well as intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) for those who are most negatively impacted by depression and whose functioning is the most severely impaired.

Upset soldier talks with therapist
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close Attention to Behavioral Changes

Sometimes depression is associated with behavioral changes, that is why it tends to lead to social isolation and a decreased interest in things like nutrition, exercise and enjoyable activities. Therefore, your psychiatrist will encourage you to take an inventory of your current behaviors. You will have to pay attention to your diet, physical exercise, recreational activities, chores, bill paying and your hygiene.

After evaluation these areas, you might find that you have significant deficits in comparison to your pre-depression behavior this is due to depression keeping you from having the motivation to do what makes you feel better.

When in treatment, you will realize that the plan elevated will motivate you. Small victories and accomplishments are important to lift your mood when depression has caused so much pain and struggle.

Psychopharmacology

Some patients just look for “a pill” to make them feel better, and some others argue they do not believe in medication. However, every decision should be based on information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to every treatment option. The professional might work with you to help you decide what is best. At last, you will have the final word on whether you will have the medication or not.

Symptoms serve to target for the right treatment and align better with some medications. Targeting the most severe and urgent ones is a must to help you get better and assert the correct medication.

Today, it is possible to find a lot of proved medication that can benefit the patient in the depression treatment. When assessing the correct one, the psychiatrist must consider your history of medication successes and failures.

What is more, some patients need a combination of medication to suit their personal and current necessities. At each visit, the professional should evaluate if a medical adjustment should be made if the dose should be changed or some other medication should be added to achieve optimal outcomes.

Other Complementary Treatment

Medication for depression might take some time to take effect, around a week or two, and it might take up to 6-8 weeks more to get a maximal effect. Thus, you should consider doing other treatment options simultaneously until the medication starts working. This modality may have a significant positive impact on your depression immediately.

Conclusion

Psychiatry is a part of medicine which focuses on mental diseases including depression. If you suffer from depression or you know somebody who does, you need to know that a single consultation can help you clarify the diagnosis, treatment options and so that you can begin with your healing process. Besides, your symptoms, feelings, and struggles are going to be understood and treated by the psychiatrist you choose.

If you need more information or assessment in connection to this or any other mental problem or psychotherapy contact us. We are more than willing to help you get the right treatment for you.

Female psychologist holding calendar

A Guide to Your First Visit With a Psychiatrist

How do you know when to visit a psychiatrist? In general, people make their first appointment when they are experiencing difficulties at work, in a relationship or maybe as a consequence of medical conditions.

Besides, they might be undergoing certain symptoms which might include sadness, lack of energy, anxiety or even some mood swings. Some other symptoms might involve problems connected with sleeping, their memory or appetite. In some cases, these symptoms are more severe, and they might include hallucinations or suicidal ideas as well.

It might be relevant to pinpoint that “a psychiatrist is a physician who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat people who are experiencing a wide range of issues, from emotional distress to more severe mental health concerns.”

Female psychologist holding calendar
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the Psychiatric Appointment

When attending the first visit with the psychiatrist, some people get frozen and, as a result, they do not remember all the issues that have taken them to therapy. That is why, it might be wise to write down all your concerns before the visit.

You should write everything that is bothering you, those things you feel are odd or strange or simple out of place.

First Appointment

The first appointment with a psychiatrist is generally based on an initial evaluation, or intake visit, in which your psychiatrist wants to get to know you and understand those difficulties you are experiencing.

This appointment might vary regarding length, but they are usually between 40-60 minutes. Your psychiatrist may inquire you about the issues that are concerning you, and how they are affecting your life.

The professional might also ask you about your symptoms and how you do to cope with them. He/She might want to know if you have a medical condition or if you used to have one as well as if you have visited any other psychiatrist in the past.

After that, the psychiatrist might ask you about your family’s health history. Due to many medical and psychiatric conditions run in families. Lastly, he/she might ask you about your current medications, both for medical and psychiatric conditions.

After your psychiatrist asked you all the necessary questions, he/she should make a plan with you and may recommend that you see a particular specialist or have some laboratory tests. It will depend on the type of therapy you need.

It is probable that the doctor schedules another appointment in order to discuss how the plan goes and if the symptoms improved.

Do not be afraid and ask as many questions as you need, ask about things you do not understand or the medicine you were prescribed or the type of therapy you are supposed to do. Your psychiatrist will be ready to help you with your inquiries and doubts, so you feel more confident about the whole situation.

Tips for the First Visit:

  • Write down a list of symptoms that you have been having if you feel you may forget to mention them,
  • Bring along any medical or mental health records that you believe are important.
  • It may help to bring a list of your medications,
  • You can ask a friend or family member to come to your appointment if you feel that they can provide a unique perspective and make you feel less anxious,
  • Always feel free to ask questions about the diagnosis and any treatments offered.

Bring a Loved One

For most people, it is really hard to face a strange person and open their heart while revealing things they might want to forget. It may be a good idea to take a loved one on your first visit as support. The person you choose will be by your side and might help you tell the psychiatrist what is going on with you.

What is more, the person can provide a different perspective on your problems and symptoms which can be very helpful to the session.

Be Open and Honest

To be open and honest with your psychiatrist is key to succeed in the therapy. You should provide a complete picture to the professional so the help can be really profound.

On the other hand, you should be able to answer your psychiatrist’s questions with the same honesty as you describe what you are undergoing. In this way, your diagnosis will be more accurate.

Women holding a pen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write Down Everything the Doctor Says

We said that before going to the first visit you should write down everything you want to tell the psychiatrist, not only you should do this but also write down what he/she tells you. This will help you remember the conversation and, later on, keep a record of your progress.

Ask Questions

Remember that what is important is that you understand the whole situation and how you should proceed. In order to do that, you should ask as many questions as you can, no question is a dumb one, every question is valid when it comes to your mental health and treatment.

Don’t leave the session without an understanding of what is going on and what is happening next. If you took the loved one with you, he/she would be able to help you remembering the information and making the questions.

Your First Should End with a Plan

As it was already mentioned, after the psychiatrist made a lot of questions and you explain in detail what is going on with you, a plan would be explained to you. It will consist of what are the steps that you should follow to get better. Sometimes, it might contain some prescription, but in some other cases, you would have to attend therapy regularly.

Understand Prescriptions

If it is the case and you get a prescription, you need to make sure that you understand correctly what you are going to take, how you are going to do it and why. Ask the psychiatrist about the side effects, so you are prepared for any modifications in your behavior or your body. You should also know if there are any special dosing instruction and if there are any interactions to worry about. You might want to write this information as well.

Overall, do not be afraid of asking all the questions you want, it is important that you feel confident and safe when starting treatment. The first visit to your psychiatrist is essential for him/her to collect all the information about you and come up with a plan that will help you improve and get better.

If you need more information or assessment in connection with this or any other mental problem or therapy contact us. We are more than willing to help you get the right treatment for you.

Clinical Psychologist

Different Types of Mental Health Professionals

Nowadays, it is possible to find a wide variety of mental health professionals because this field has grown considerably in the last century. That is why, when you decide to attend therapy, you should also consider the type of professional you need to consult.

Although all clinical professionals should meet similar clinical requirements for competency, you might find out that each mental health professional different training and specific therapeutic practices or methods.

Here you will find a list of different types of counselors and mental health professional to bear in mind while choosing the best therapy:

Clinical Social Worker (CSW)

Clinical Social Worker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clinical social workers are social workers who have completed some supplemental requirements to be able to work with clients on a clinical level. They might have more experience than “conventional” social workers because the latest workers do not have the clinical designation (MSW)

What is more, clinical social workers should have completed the required master’s program in counseling, internship hours, and postgraduate supervision hours, as well as, taking the Advanced Clinical Social Worker Exam, which allows them to open private practices for psychotherapy.

Mental Health Counselor (MHC)

As regards mental health counselors, they are counselors whose education is focused on clinical assessment, treatment, and psychotherapy. They are trained in mental illness, psychotherapy, and clinical intervention services.

To be a  mental health counselor, it is required to complete a master’s program, internship, and 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience to get the license. After all these steps, counselors are allowed to work privately and within clinical facilities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

These kinds of therapists work with relationship, marital, and family problems related to mental health. They are consulted about couples, parents, children, siblings issues, etc.

Their area of expertise is connected to the family dynamic, interpersonal problems and relationships. To get a license they are required to have a master’s level education in mental health and clinical supervision hours, and after that take a clinical exam.

Clinical Psychologist (Ph.D. or PsyD)

Clinical Psychologist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the case of clinical psychologists, they are mental health and counseling professionals who had received a doctoral level of education. Their main objective is in clinical practice, counseling, and research. Clinical psychologists specialize in various types of therapy, including individual, marital, and family therapy with a focus on treatment for symptoms of depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and a variety of other conditions.

They might offer mental health counseling services, and they are also trained in assessment, diagnosis, and therapeutic practices. But they are not trained in prescribing medication because they do not have a medical degree.

Due to their educational level, clinical psychologists are generally in charge of supervision and managerial responsibilities in clinical facilities, and they might be responsible for patients who need more attention and expertise because of complex mental difficulties.

Psychiatrist (MD or DO)

Psychiatrists are mainly concern about the medical treatment of people with some psychiatric disorder. They are allowed to prescribe medication based on each patient, and they are in charge of its management service.

Every month, they meet with their patient to control each treatment. What is more, most of these professionals do not offer psychotherapeutic or counseling services. But they work close to counseling professionals to follow treatments based on medication.

Overall, it is necessary to explain that each of these mental health professionals are allowed to work in mental health facilities as well as individually as private practice. Every mental health certification has its advantages and benefits and its aim to help each patient with the appropriate treatment according to his or her issues. Lastly, when you have to consult a mental health professional who has met all licensing requirements to make sure you will get the correct care and attention.

If you need more information or assessment in connection to this or any other mental problem or therapy contact us. We are more than willing to help you get the right treatment for you.

psychologist talking to her patient

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Psychiatrist?

Nowadays, a considerable amount of people is consulting psychiatrists due to anxiety or depression, lack of joy or dissatisfaction in personal relationships, self-sabotaging behavior, avoiding intimacy, personal crisis connected to a failed love relationship, illnesses, death or even job stress. They might also experience uncertainty about future goals or objectives or the sensation of being stuck in life.

If you feel that any of these problems are happening to you, it would be wise to talk to a professional. You may find help and comfort while trying to solve the issue and you would probably gather some tools that might be useful shortly.

Not many people know how therapy works which makes them doubt about making an appointment. How is the session planned? Do I have to tell a stranger about my whole life? However, when you see a psychiatrist, it is not different to other medical consultations.

The psychiatrist would ask you the reason that brought you there, explain how the treatment is going to be and how you are going to accomplish healing. Additionally, the consultation is confidential unless your life is in danger, or you might damage somebody else.

psychologist talking to her patient

The Psychiatrist

The therapist’s primary goal would be to help you to gain confidence to go back to your “normal” life. So, it is essential to create a stable therapist-patient bond or relationship. An empathic environment should be built. Therefore, your concerns and stressors can be discussed in an open and supportive (non-judgmental) way; you might feel relaxed and safe to share more inquiries during a session.

The purpose is not to provide a straightforward solution to your problems but to help and facilitate tools for you to find insights and solutions while working on complicated matters.

Psychological therapy

Proper guidance for you.

We know that working on personal issues is not a simple task and it involves deep commitment not only from your side but also from the therapist´s. That is why we are ready to guide you through your recovery process towards a beneficial and positive change and growth.

At first, you might feel a bit uneasy because you are experiencing something new, it might be overwhelming and emotionally challenging to confront specific topics and realities. Besides, you might reveal painful, embarrassing or shameful feelings or emotions, or maybe some troubling memories during the session. All of them would push you to confrontation, exploration, and understanding of yourself to be able to solve them.

The starting point for a good therapy might include tenancy, trust, and comprehension of emotions and feelings to make considerable progress. The transitions might be hard, and you might undergo various stages, but as you will see, with mutual respect and the right psychiatric support and guidance, you will be able to overcome what is affecting you and, at the same time, get favorable tools that will help you in the future.

The psychiatrist must be fully involved and be convinced that the human spirit can grow and change. It would take a profound compromise and perseverance on everyone´s part to continue no matter what, even if you do not immediately see the solution. The most fundamental step to perceive the transformations and improvements is your and the therapist commitment.

The benefits of seeing a psychiatrist.

There might be plenty of benefits for you to start seeing a psychiatrist. Among them, you will identify:

A significant help to change your personal and, maybe, professional life;
To confront your fears so you can come to terms with your reality;
To control and to alleviate your emotions;
To overcome traumatic experiences and to be able to solve personal issues with   guidance and support;
To developed trust (therapist-patient) and confidence in yourself and with others;
To return to a healthy status;
To gain an objective perspective and a professional opinion about your problems to figure out how to solve them.

Man crying during psychotherapy

Does everyone need medication?

It might be necessary to precise that not all the patients need medication to start their treatment. It would depend on the problems you have and the therapist’s opinion. The psychiatrist will facilitate you enough information about the medication so that you can take a balanced decision about the risks, benefits and treatment options.

The professional will work with you to decide if you need the medication or not and which one is appropriate for you. On the other hand, it is a must for you and your psychiatrist to follow the same path, because, in the end, the ultimate decision whether to take medicine or not, will be in your hands.

Today, we can find a wide variety of medications on the market, which had been approved as beneficial for the patient´s recovery. There are several possibilities according to each psychiatric problem. Not only your present situation but your history of medication should be analyzed to assess you correctly.

At this point, you would be working with your psychiatrist, and together you will find the medication or combinations of medicine that is appropriate for your treatment. Every time you have an appointment, your prescription would be evaluated and adjusted if it is necessary, regarding dosing or adding a new one to gain better results.

Each medicine could take between a week or two to have a noticeable effect and a month and a half or two months to have maximal efficiency. Consequently, it would be sensible to employ other types of treatments while waiting for the medicinal results. This kind of therapy might have a significant, as well as, positive outcome on mental illnesses as soon as you start regular sessions and it might be a solid starting point until medication adequately serves its purpose.

Do it for you

If you are experiencing negative thoughts, if you find yourself lost and you cannot see a way out, call a professional. If you are constant and responsible, in a brief period, you would see how your life gets better. With proper medication and a comprehensive guidance, you will find the solution to your problems. Psychiatrists are well trained and have all the elements for you to feel safe and respected to make the best of each session for you.