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When do I visit a Psychiatrist and what should I expect?

Periods of sadness, grief, conflict, and stress are common in our lives and we would do well to develop necessary coping skills to handle these issues all by ourselves without needing professional help. However, a simple thumb rule of when to visit a psychiatrist would be if these mental health issues are distressing or lasting longer than one can handle. When to consult a psychiatrist? In case you're wondering when to visit a psychiatrist, here are a few signs that you should never ignore.

  1. Inability to deal with an emotional distress: Unfortunate circumstances like losing our near and dear can be a traumatic experience. As a result, it may affect you mentally in numerous ways such as believing that leading a normal life again may be impossible and so on.

  2. Relying on substances for coping: Excessive consumption of alcohol, taking drugs or developing other addictions for dealing with reality are also common signs of mental distress. Unhealthy addictions and habits tend to raise the risk of other health issues such as eating disorders and sleeping problems.

  3. Emotional turmoil affecting the body: When being emotionally upset all the time, it starts taking a toll on the body, such as stomach aches or recurrent headaches, or a poor immune system. A sense of being disconnected or loneliness is often a result of suffering from depression, where a psychiatrist can help you regain yourself.

What you can do Before your appointment, make a list of:

  1. Specific symptoms you have noticed, and for how long

  2. Key personal information, including any current, major stressors or traumatic events in your past

  3. Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions

  4. Any medications, vitamins, herbal products or other supplements you take, and their doses

  5. Questions to ask your doctor or mental health provider

What to expect in assessments sessions? As a part of a psychiatric assessment, the mental health professional will first listen to all your concerns carefully and try to understand them from your point of view. The psychiatrist then may ask you questions about your health, your relationships, and your family history. This will be followed by filling out a questionnaire by you. A basic physical health check-up may also be done. What to expect in treatment sessions? Once the psychiatrist gets to understand your problems, he or she will focus on introducing a suitable treatment plan which may consist of prescribing medications or offering different types of therapies. Adherence to treatment and attending required follow up are essential. Communication is crucial between the client and psychiatrist for a thorough assessment, offering and altering treatment based on appropriate follow up and feedback from clients. Psychiatric disorders range from young children to elderly, this can be witnessed from the range of psychiatric disorders both children & adults suffer from such as ADHDautistic spectrum disorderschool refusal in children and depressionanxietypsychosisOCD, substance misuse in adults along with dementia, psychosis and depression in Elderly patients. Without taking care of your mental health, ensuring a healthy body and a promising life ahead is impossible. Visiting a psychiatrist should not be seen as a sign of weakness but a healthy sign of seeking help when necessary. Mental health disorders can sometimes be perplexing making it difficult for the client to find people who can understand their suffering. Psychiatrists are trained to deal with not only a range of mental health disorders problems but also on aspects of confidentiality, assessment of risks, effective communication, and empathy. I conclude with Michelle Obama’s words which were said in an effort to raise awareness of mental health- “Whether an illness affects your heart, leg or your brain it is still an illness and there should be no discrimination”. See you in the next edition. Take care and be healthy.

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