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Should I See A Psychiatrist For Depression

Mental Health Services Often Start With Primary Care

When to see a Psychiatrist

Most psychiatric care starts with a primary care provider, even if a patient eventually winds up seeing a mental health professional. This is because many primary care providers screen their patients for depression during their annual visit, as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force .

A simple two-question inquiry is often the starting point. Your primary care provider asks you how often, over the last two weeks, you have had little interest or pleasure in doing things or were feeling down, depressed or hopeless.

If your responses indicates depression is likely, and then you will be asked a few more questions. Depending on your responses and symptoms, your primary care provider may prescribe antidepressants, give you a referral for psychotherapy services, or both.

Consider Seeing A Psychiatrist First

There’s a tendency for some new patients to visit a counselor or psychologist for their initial mental health evaluation rather than a psychiatrist. This can be beneficial for many people, especially if your case is not severe, but for others, it’s often not enough.

Only psychiatrists are also medical doctors, which means that they are able to prescribe medications.

If your depression stems from a chemical imbalance, talk therapy will not be sufficient to treat you. It’s best to make your initial visit to a psychiatrist, who can both prescribe medications and offer you psychotherapy if it’s needed. This two-pronged approach of medication and talk therapy is often the most beneficial to patients.

Psychotherapy is a broad term for a variety of different verbal and psychological techniques that are employed to help an individual work through their mental health condition or source of underlying stress. These techniques include but are not limited to psychoanalytic therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy . Oftentimes, other mental health professionals in the field such as counselors and social workers will draw from psychotherapeutic techniques and use them with their clients.

How Can I Find A Psychiatrist

Ask your doctor or therapist for a referral or check your community mental health facility. You could also look online or in your community for psychiatrists based on their specialties and areas of focus. This means doing your research and asking questions about your particular circumstances so you can find a good match.

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Who Should Do A Mental Health Evaluation

According to Tu, this is a multilayered question. People typically think of psychiatrists as prescribing mental health medication, and thats true, she says. But your primary care physician should be your first visit for a mental health assessment. They may be able to prescribe a low dosage of medication and, if needed, they can refer you to a psychiatrist for more in-depth assessment and treatment.

Folks often self-medicate for mood disorders, sometimes without meaning to, says Dr. Katharine Liang, M.D., Ph.D., a consulting psychiatrist at Seattle Anxiety Specialists. If you notice that your alcohol or substance use is increasing because of stress, anxiety or depression its time to go see your doctor.

Tu recommends getting a mental health assessment with your annual physical, or more often as signs of increased anxiety, depression or other mood disorders appear. Physical symptoms may include a change of appetite, increased hair loss, inability to sleep, and a jittery feeling. Mental symptoms may include racing thoughts, obsessive worry, emotional volatility and inability to concentrate.

Can I Get Better On My Own

Depression Counselling &  Therapy in Mississauga

The good news is that most people with depression will get better on their own by doing things to help themselves. You may be able to overcome depression by yourself, which will give you a feeling of achievement and confidence to tackle such feelings again if you feel low in the future.

Taking up some of the suggestions in this leaflet may shorten a period of depression and can help you stay well in the future.

But some people need extra help, especially if their depression is severe or it goes on for a long time, or the things they have tried to get better havent worked.

If this is the first time you are experiencing depression, you have a roughly 50:50 chance of becoming depressed again, so it is important to know how to get help if you need it.1, 29

So if you think you need to talk to someone about how you feel, try not to put it off, as it can help you get back to doing the things you used to do and enjoy life sooner.

Sometimes it can take a few goes to get other people to understand how you feel. Be persistent and dont give up you can get the right help.

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Should I See A Psychiatrist Or A Neurologist

If you suspect that a loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia, you may be unsure what kind of professional to consult. You will definitely want a specialist to get an accurate assessment, but with both psychiatrists and neurologists available, how can you know which one is best?

Sadness That Continues To Persist

As mentioned before, it is normal to experience periods of sadness or general unhappiness. However, if these feelings continue to persist for weeks or even months, then this may indicate you are suffering from depression. Along with sadness, you may also experience feelings of grief or hopelessness.

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So Which One Should You See

Making an appointment with either a psychiatrist or neurologist would ultimately lead to a correct diagnosis, even if they end up referring you to the other specialty for a more specific evaluation.

If a dementia patient is hallucinating or becoming aggressive, for example, you may want to discuss the problem with a psychiatrist who specializes in geriatrics they may be more comfortable prescribing antipsychotic medications, which are typically used to treat these symptoms. A neurologist may be a better option if other neurological symptoms beyond changes in memory, mood and behavior emerge . But the bottom line is that either will be able to provide a preliminary diagnosis of dementia, and guide you in the best direction.


Other Mental Health Professionals

What Anyone Who Hasn’t Had Depression Should Know | MedCircle

1. Counselors, Therapists, and Clinicians

These professionals hold masters degrees and are trained to analyze the persons mental health condition. They use a variety of therapeutic techniques and work under job titles like counselors, therapists, or clinicians.

Accordingly, people facing mental health issues can reduce their symptoms and improve their way of thinking if they choose to consult them.

License and Certifications

Their licenses and certifications vary depending on the state they are practicing in. Typically, these may include licensed:

  • Professional Counselor, LPC
  • Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, LCADC

2. Clinical Social Workers

These are also trained to understand and analyze an individuals mental health. In addition to this, clinical social workers use therapeutic techniques as per particular training programs.

Further, these workers also have training in advocacy services and case management. Advocacy services include these social workers helping individuals be engaged in the important decisions that impact the individuals life. These advocates help individuals:

  • to express their viewpoints
  • in understanding and exploring their choices

Similarly, as case managers, these social workers help individuals to meet their individual and family health needs. This is achieved via advocacy, communication, and available resources. The idea here is to provide safety, quality of care, and cost-effective results to the patient.

Degrees they hold include:

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When Youve Witnessed A Traumatic Event

Traumais the result of an event that elicits strong emotional reactions.

Fromwar, disease, civil unrest, and natural disasters to death, separation,divorce, and abuse, there are numerous circumstances that can inflict emotionalwounds.

Naturally,our mind is designed to cope with trauma by isolating the traumatic memory andkeeping us away from society for a while.

Mostexperts agree that it takes about three months for someone to recover afterwitnessing a traumatic event. But there are people who, despite showingsignificant progress, never feel like theyre completely over trauma.

Withoutemotional support, traumatic events can trigger the onset of PTSD and depression.

Ifyouve been through a traumatic event and find it impossible to cope on yourown, perhaps its time to talk to someone.

Your Sleep Pattern Has Changed

From insomnia to feeling extreme fatigue and wanting to sleep around the clock, there are a variety of mental health disorders that can cause sleep issues.

In fact, its thought that 50 percent to 80 percent of clients in a psychiatric practice deal with chronic sleep problems. On the flip side, lack of sleep can also lead to mental duress.

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What’s The Difference Between Feeling Miserable And Being Depressed

Everyone has times in their lives when they feel fed up or miserable. It is usually for a particular reason, does not interfere too much with daily life and does not usually last longer than a week or two.

However, if these feelings go on for weeks or months, or become so bad they start to affect every area of your life, you may have depression and need to get help.

Why See A Psychiatrist For Medication Management


According to Tu, your primary care physician will help you decide if you need to see a psychiatrist, but here are some indications.

  • You are not satisfied with the medication you are taking.
  • There is some uncertainty about whether your diagnosis is correct.
  • The severity, frequency, and duration of your symptoms have decreased, but not to the low level where you would be considered in recovery, in remission, or doing well.
  • There are other preexisting mental health or physical health conditions that may call for a more careful or nuanced approach.

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Rule Out Other Conditions

If you identify with the symptoms of depression, your next step should be a visit to your family doctor or general practitioner for a thorough exam and screening. Your provider will ask you about your health history and risk factors and may use written questionnaires to assess your symptoms.

Your family doctor or general practitioner will also want to rule out several medical conditions that can contribute to symptoms of depression, such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies, female hormonal changes, and thyroid conditions. In addition, several medications may have depressive symptoms as a side effect.

If your general practitioner doesn’t find any of these factors as a cause of your depression, they may prescribe an antidepressant or refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.

In 2017, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States experienced at least one episode of severe depression, or 7.1% of all adults. For adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, the percentage is even higher, with an estimated 3.2 million adolescents in the U.S. experiencing at least one major depressive episode in a year.

What Kinds Of Treatments Work For Depression

A wide variety of treatments have been proven effective in treating depression. Some involve talking and behavioral change. Others involve taking medications. There are also techniques that focus on neuromodulation, which incorporates electrical, magnetic or other forms of energy to stimulate brain pathways. Examples of neuromodulation include electroconvulsive therapy , vagus-nerve stimulation , transcranial magnetic stimulation and the experimental deep-brain stimulation .

The choice of therapy should be guided by the nature and severity of depression, past responses to treatment, and the patients and familys beliefs and preferences. Whatever approach is selected, the patient should be a willing and active participant, engaging in psychotherapy or regularly taking the medication, for example.

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What Is A Psychiatrist And What Do They Do

Psychiatrists hold positions at a number of types of health facilities including hospitals, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, prisons, universities, and private practices. Theyre vital in the diagnosis and medicinal treatment for those living with mental health disorders, including depression. Psychiatrists education is more expensive than a psychologist as they hold doctorate degrees, which means they complete medical school. Then, spend four years in residency to select and perfect their specific area of care. A psychiatrist, as a medical professional, has the authority to both make mental health diagnoses and prescribe efficient medicinal treatment. This means that psychiatrists are the ones that provide medications in order to keep symptoms of mental health issues like depression under control.

Treatment Differences Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist for Depression

So, Whos Better for the Treatment of Depression a Psychiatrist or Psychologist?

Unfortunately, there is not a cure-all for depressive disorders. Different treatments work for different people because every persons experience with depression and symptoms may differ. Thats why its best to combine the help of both psychiatrists and psychologists for the treatment of depression. This way, patients and their mental health team can conclude what works best for them.

How A Primary Care Provider Can Help

Should I see a doctor about my mental health?

Many primary care offices have begun to embed a social worker or behavioral health manager as part of the care team. In this way, mental health care can be conveniently managed at the primary care office. The social worker or behavioral health manager can meet with you in a phone call or in a video chat between appointments with your primary care provider.

As part of your primary care team, a social worker or behavioral health manager will discuss your symptoms, history and treatment and work with you to address your mental health needs, as well as provide brief therapy and education. The social worker works with your primary care provider to develop the best plan for your mental health care and consult with a psychiatrist who can guide your care to ensure high-quality treatment or connect you with other mental health specialists.

For many patients, a prescription for antidepressants and follow-up visits may be all they will need. A primary care provider can choose from several antidepressants to safely prescribe to their patients follow up visits with a primary care provider tend to be much shorter than a therapy session with a psychiatrist.

If you do not show improvement after a few months, your primary care provider may decide to change your medication or might recommend starting psychotherapy if it wasnt part of the initial plan.

Your primary care provider also can help to find a psychotherapist, though a referral usually isnt needed.

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Should I See A Psychologist Or Psychiatrist For Depression

If youre showing clinical depression symptoms, you may not know whom to approach to seek help. This is typically the case with first-timers. You may have a questions like Should I see a psychologist or psychiatrist for depression.

Medical professionals may go for physical examination, laboratory tests, and blood tests to make a correct diagnosis for depression. They would talk to you to know about the depression symptoms you have been experiencing, how long you have been experiencing them, your family history of mental illness, etc.

The first step is a personal interview with the medical professional. In this he tries to analyze the depression symptoms by asking you about your feelings and if you have been going through the depression symptoms.

They consider the following DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing depression symptoms in individuals. Doctors would talk to you and hear about the symptoms you are currently experiencing. For instance, you may tell the doctor about your behavior patterns, moods on a routine basis, your lifestyle, etc. They may ask you a set of questions for screening depression.

You Cant Just Cope With It You Do Need To Get Help

Some people try to develop their own ways of coping with depression rather than seeking help. These can seem helpful in lessening the immediate distress, but they can lead to depression going on for longer. A good example of this is isolating oneself to avoid stressful situations. Though it helps reduce stress, in the long run it may create its own problems. A psychiatrist or therapist will often try to help people to identify ways of recovering from depression by changing such unhelpful coping mechanisms.

Using alcohol or recreational drugs to cope is a particular danger with depression, potentially adding a bigger problem to your life and making it harder to recover. Sleep problems are also common in depression and many other mental health problems. It is easy to get into bad habits, for instance, watching TV in bed for hours, so it is worth discussing sleep problems in more detail with your psychiatrist.

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Your Anxiety Is Through The Roof

Nervous feelings are normal every once in a while, but if you find that youre overrun with anxiety more days than not, its worth making an appointment to see someone.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, if those feelings stay persistent for more than six months, you may have Generalized Anxiety Disorder .

There are a number of other mental health conditions related to anxiety, too and a professional can help you determine if youre dealing with one.

Possible Signs You Need To See A Therapist

Depression: What It is? Symptoms ,Treatment and Remedies
  • Overwhelmed. You might feel like you have too many things to do or too many issues to cope with. You might feel like you cant rest or even breathe. Stress and being overwhelmed can lead to serious physical health concerns.
  • Fatigue. This physical symptom often results from or accompanies mental health issues. It can indicate depression. Fatigue can cause you to sleep more than usual or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Disproportionate rage, anger, or resentment. Everyone feels anger at times. Even passing rage isnt necessarily harmful. Seeking support to deal with these feelings may be a good idea when they dont pass, are extreme compared to the situation, or if they lead you to take violent or potentially harmful actions.
  • Agoraphobia. People with agoraphobia fear being in places where they might experience panic attacks or become trapped. Some people may become unable to leave their houses.
  • Anxious or intrusive thoughts. Its normal to worry about things from time to time, but when worry takes up a significant part of your day or causes physical symptoms, therapy can help you deal with it.
  • Apathy. Losing interest in usual activities, the world around you, or life in general can indicate mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
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