Psychiatry is the branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is an expert in the behaviours and diseases of the brain and mind. They have completed their undergraduate degrees, medical-school training, and four more years of specialized psychiatric training before entering regular practice.
Psychiatry is a specialty of medicine, like cardiology, oncology, ophthalmology, and so on. Because of this extensive training, a psychiatrist is the best choice to work with you to make sure that your health problems and medications are all taken into careful consideration during treatment. They are uniquely qualified to understand how medical factors can affect your mental health.
People usually seek out the services of a psychiatrist for their course of treatment because they want the greatest care possible for their mental health problems. They have decided they want the best so they can achieve the level of success and wellness they want to attain. A psychiatrist will be able to quickly make an assessment and provide treatment or guide you in the direction that will be best for your success
A therapist helps people understand and work through their psychological and emotional and interpersonal issues scubas: illness, grief, bullying, abuse, relationship issues, stress, depression, anger management, anxiety, trouble at work, addiction and basically any psychological emotional issue. The therapist will take time to understand both you and the issues you bring. A good therapist is not there to label you, diagnose you or treat you but to accompany you on a path of personal growth that will make meaning from your issues, help you either overcome or learn to live with the issues and explore your greater potential.
A psychiatrist will diagnose various types of mental illness according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and then prescribe medicines to help manage the symptoms. Psychiatrists rarely do psychotherapy. The adhere to a medical model of mental illness.
If something is troubling you and you’d like to explore a better way to understand and work with it, I recommend exploring what therapists or counsellors are in your area. Read their profiles and see which one feels most matched to your nature and your needs. Not all therapists are alike. In fact, we’re all different in terms of our approach and our personalities. Find one that suits you. Psychotherapy is a relationship. It’s about working through your issues, getting to know yourself and building strengths and perspectives to make your life more wholesome and fulfilling.
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms such as hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or impulses, depression and you feel that you need relief more quickly than a helping relationship with a therapist or counsellor can bring, please consult a psychiatrist. Once the disturbing symptoms are more controlled, beginning work with a psychotherapist or counsellor will certainly bring meaning and enrichment to your life.
Because they are physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests which, combined with discussions with patients, help provide a picture of a patient's physical and mental state. Their education and clinical training equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses and the relationships with genetics and family history, to evaluate medical and psychological data, to make a diagnosis, and to work with patients to develop treatment plans.
Psychotherapy, sometimes called talk therapy, is a treatment that involves a talking relationship between a therapist and patient. It can be used to treat a broad variety of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. The goal of psychotherapy is to eliminate or control disabling or troubling symptoms so the patient can function better. Depending on the extent of the problem, treatment may take just a few sessions over a week or two or may take many sessions over a period of years. Psychotherapy can be done individually, as a couple, with a family, or in a group.
There are many forms of psychotherapy. There are psychotherapies that help patients change behaviors or thought patterns, psychotherapies that help patients explore the effect of past relationships and experiences on present behaviors, and psychotherapies that are tailored to help solve other problems in specific ways. Cognitive behavior therapy is a goal-oriented therapy focusing on problem solving. Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of individual psychotherapy which requires frequent sessions over several years.
Most medications are used by psychiatrists in much the same way that medications are used to treat high blood pressure or diabetes. After completing thorough evaluations, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help treat mental disorders. Psychiatric medications can help correct imbalances in brain chemistry that are thought to be involved in some mental disorders. Patients on long-term medication treatment will need to meet with their psychiatrist periodically to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and any potential side effects.
Class of medications
o Antidepressants – used to treat depression, panic disorder, PTSD, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders.
o Antipsychotic medications – used to treat psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.
o Sedatives and anxiolytics – used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
o Hypnotics – used to induce and maintain sleep.
o Mood stabilizers – used to treat bipolar disorder.
o Stimulants – used to treat ADHD.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (completed medical school and residency) with special training in psychiatry. A psychiatrist is able to conduct psychotherapy and prescribe medications and other medical treatments.
A psychologist usually has an advanced degree, most commonly in clinical psychology, and often has extensive training in research or clinical practice. Psychologists treat mental disorders with psychotherapy and some specialize in psychological testing and evaluation.
It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviours. Also keep in mind that the onset of several of the symptoms below, and not just any one change, indicates a problem that should be assessed. The symptoms below should not be due to recent substance use or another medical condition.
Signs and symptoms:
Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Examples of signs and symptoms include:
• Feeling sad or down
• Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
• Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
• Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
• Withdrawal from friends and activities
• Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
• Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
• Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
• Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
• Problems with alcohol or drug use
• Major changes in eating habits
• Sex drive changes
• Excessive anger, hostility or violence
• Suicidal thinking
Psychiatrists use a variety of treatments – including various forms of psychotherapy, medications, psychosocial interventions and other treatments (such as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), depending on the needs of each patient.
Similarly, to your first visit, the staff will meet with you first to review your information, collect fees, and possibly check your blood pressure and weight. If you are prescribed medication the doctor will want to see you again soon (typically two weeks after your initial visit) to make sure you are tolerating the medicine well and that you are feeling better. Follow-up appointments vary in length depending on whether your doctor is doing brief psychotherapy with you or if you only need a medication management visit. Follow up appointments generally last 15-20 minutes.
If your doctor recommends medication, you may need to try more than one to find the right combination of symptom relief without unwanted side effects. Many medications can cause harmless but annoying side effects such as dry-mouth, constipation, stomach upset, diarrhoea, headaches or dizziness. These side effects usually go away after a few days or weeks, but if they are intolerable, your doctor may choose to prescribe another medicine during a follow-up visit with you. Mediation changes are typically only made during a follow-up visit.
That answer varies depending on many factors, including stability, complexity, and the type of medication you are prescribed. Often, patients are seen two weeks after their initial visit if a medication was prescribed.
The frequency of follow-up visits can range from once every month to once every three months.
That is up to you. Whether you would like to attend alone or with someone close to you, the decision of whom to involve in your healthcare is entirely yours.