An opioid addiction happens when an individual relies on opioids. This can cause many health and mental problems and can lead to death. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 21 to 29% of individuals who are prescribed opioids for pain misuse them. This can include taking more than prescribed. Read on to…
How a Psychiatrist Can Help You
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with training in diagnosing and treating a variety of mental illnesses. According to a survey performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 20% adults within a given year will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder. For these individuals, visiting a psychiatrist can help in managing a difficult mental health condition through employing a variety of effective therapies and prescribing medication.
What is a psychiatrist?
Continue reading to learn more about the services a psychiatrist offers and what methods are used to treat common mental illnesses.
Types of mental health professionals
When seeking a mental health professional, individuals can struggle to differentiate between the different types of professionals to choose from. While all providers require a background in psychology or sociology to care for patients, each vary in what level of training is required, the focus of their work, and what methods and treatments that can be utilized. The different types of mental health professionals include the following:
- Mental health counselor
- Family and marriage counselor
- Addiction counselor
- Religious or pastoral counselor
- Social worker
While other types of mental health professionals may only need a bachelor’s or master’s degree to enter a chosen career, psychiatrists are required to obtain a medical degree and complete a minimum of four years of residency. Overall, these medical professionals undergo a minimum of 12 years of training. After completing the residency, a psychiatrist must pass the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology examination to be board certified. Considered a type of doctor, psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication to aid in the treatment of mental illnesses in addition to providing psychotherapy.
While some psychiatrists will help with a wide variety of mental health issues, many professionals choose a specific subspecialty. Some doctors choose to work with a single age group, such as adolescents and children or geriatric psychiatry. A variety of subspecialties focus on a particular application, such as occupational psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and liaison psychiatry. Others choose to focus on specific conditions by choosing a subspecialty, such as addiction psychiatry or neuropsychiatry. To offer therapy in a particular subspecialty, psychiatrists will often need to complete an additional fellowship.
How psychiatrists help
Psychiatrists are trained to treat a variety of common mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and some learning disorders. Often, the first few appointments involve mental status examinations and biomedical diagnosis to see if patients meet the diagnostic criteria for a variety of disorders. Once a diagnosis has been made, psychiatrists will meet with patients regularly to offer psychotherapy. If deemed necessary, the psychiatrist will also prescribe medicine and offer additional treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy or psychosurgery.
Individuals living with a mental illness have several options when it comes to choosing a mental health provider that can help them. Psychiatrists are medical professionals that go through rigorous medical training. These doctors use a variety of methods to treat mental illnesses including psychotherapy, medication and special therapies.
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