7 Common Reasons to See a Psychiatrist
Acknowledging that you may need help is the first step in seeking mental health treatment. More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point. Mental health is a crucial part of every stage of life. Seeing a psychiatrist could be the start of your journey. In this article, we talk about some of the reasons to see a psychiatrist and answer your most common questions about seeing a psychiatrist.
What Is A Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is an expert in mental health. The path to become a psychiatrist is intense and rigorous, with several years of training. To become a psychiatrist, you must attend university and medical school and complete residency and board exams. You then need additional training years if you want to specialize in areas like substance abuse or child and adolescent psychiatry.
A psychiatrist can do the following:
- Prescribe medications
- Provide care for mental illness
- Help you manage long-term mental health issues
- Refer you to other health professionals, if required
- Develop treatment plants
Many people confuse psychiatrists and psychologists as they both focus on mental health. It’s important to know that a psychologist can’t prescribe medication. There are differences between psychiatry and therapy, and both can form part of a treatment plan for various mental health conditions.
7 Reasons To See A Psychiatrist
There are many reasons why you may be considering seeing a psychiatrist. By understanding the signs to look out for, you can recognize if you or someone close to you may benefit from a psychiatric evaluation. Remember that there is absolutely no shame in seeking help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can start to receive the right treatment for your unique situation. Here are seven of the most common reasons to see a psychiatrist.
- Trouble Controlling Emotions
It’s completely normal to feel sad, angry or overwhelmed at times. Sometimes, it can feel like it’s just not your day. Whether it’s work stress or too much on your plate, life can be challenging to navigate. When talking about trouble controlling emotions, it can feel like you can’t manage your emotions, and those emotions can feel excessive. This could look like a sudden episode of anger or rage. The important element to spot is a lack of control.
- Substance Abuse Issues
In 2020, 32.1% of US adults with mental health illnesses also experienced a substance use disorder. Approximately 50% of those with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance abuse.
If someone regularly uses substances or can’t feel happy without them, this could be a red flag. People with mental health issues may turn to substances like drugs and alcohol to help them cope, deal with stress, or even relax. If you or someone you care about uses drugs or alcohol to escape, they may need help.
- Social Withdrawal
If someone suddenly changes their habits, withdraws from social situations, and isolates themselves, it could be a sign they need support. Social withdrawal can indicate a mental health problem like depression or anxiety. It could also suggest that an individual finds it difficult to cope, manage their emotions, or fears rejection. While social withdrawal doesn’t automatically mean there is something wrong, it could be a sign of an underlying mental health condition.
- Excessive Anxiety Or Sadness
A big work presentation can make you feel anxious and stressed. Maybe you have a job interview or a social engagement coming up that is a little overwhelming. It’s completely normal to feel anxious or stressed at times. If anxiety or sadness is taking over your life or interfering with your ability to function, work, or carry out self-care, speaking with a mental health professional may be beneficial.
- Relationship Issues
Relationships can have their ups and downs, which is entirely normal. Having some issues within your relationship isn’t necessarily a red flag. However, poor mental health can have an impact on a relationship. For example, mental illness can affect intimacy and increase stress in the relationship. If a partner is depressed, anxious, or suffering from a mental health condition, it can affect all aspects of your relationship. While all relationships have struggles, it’s important to recognize signs that you may need help and that a psychiatrist can help you to live a healthier life.
- Changes In Sleep Patterns
There is a close relationship between mental health and sleep. For example, anxiety can keep you awake with your thoughts racing. Depression can make you sleep more and cause insomnia. At the same time, restless nights can impact your psychological health and your ability to think. Maybe you feel like you can’t sleep and have too much energy, or you’re struggling to wake up and have no energy. Although there are times when you don’t feel as rested or you find it difficult to sleep, significant changes in your sleep patterns can signify a deeper problem.
- Sharp Increase In Mental Health Symptoms
A sharp increase in mental health symptoms can refer to both frequency and intensity. Episodes of mental health symptoms could come on suddenly. They may happen sporadically or occur more regularly. When a mental health condition negatively affects your quality of life, or you have any concerns, reaching out for help is essential. Ongoing harmful behaviors can have long-lasting effects.
Common Questions To Ask When Seeking Treatment From A Psychiatrist
It’s normal to have questions about psychiatry, what to expect, and how it could help. Sometimes, it may feel a little more obvious that you need help; in other cases, it’s not always as clear. Either way, there is no shame in seeking help, regardless of the reason.
How Do I Choose The Right Psychiatrist For Me?
Like finding a therapist, choosing a psychiatrist is a personal decision. Factors to consider include location, experience, and if they are specialists in treating certain mental illnesses. Often, the first step in finding a psychiatrist is speaking to your physician, who will refer you to a mental health professional to begin your treatment. Family and friend referrals can also help point you in the right direction.
What Types Of Treatment Do Psychiatrists Offer?
When you visit a psychiatrist, they can develop a treatment plan for you that can include medications and various forms of talk therapy. A psychiatrist can prescribe and manage medications as well as diagnose and treat several mental health conditions. After visiting a psychiatrist, they may recommend medications and therapy. Typically, a therapist would provide talk therapy sessions while a psychiatrist focuses on medication management as they are a medical doctor.
How To Know When You Should Seek A Psychiatrist?
Knowing when to seek help is hard. But by understanding developing symptoms and recognizing the signs a person should see a psychiatrist, you can be in a better position to move forward. If your mental health interferes with your ability to function daily or you’re experiencing repeated emotional problems, you may benefit from speaking with a psychiatrist. Signs a person should see a psychiatrist include:
- Regularly feel overwhelmed to the point where you can’t cope
- Having sleep issues where you sleep for too long or can’t sleep
- Turning to alcohol or other substances to cope
- Experiencing phobias that interfere with your daily life
- Having delusions, disjointed thoughts, or memory problems
- Suicidal thinking or self-harm
- Emotional outbursts
- Constant negative thoughts
These signs could point to symptoms of an existing condition or feel like they have come out of the blue. In other cases, you may have recently experienced a stressful or traumatic event. Whatever the cause, if you have symptoms that stop you from normal daily function, it’s important to reach out for help.
Psychiatry At Thriving Center Of Psychology
Keep in mind that psychiatrists only suggest treatments that are proven to be safe and effective. They can recommend a treatment and explain how it works, the potential side effects, and any risks. It’s still up to you whether you have the treatment or go on medication.
At Thriving Center of Psychology, our dedicated team provides comprehensive psychiatric consultations in California and New York. If you think you or someone close to you could benefit from speaking with a psychiatrist, book an appointment online or talk to us today to start your journey toward a healthier, happier future.