PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

PSYCHIATRIST

In this brief guide, we will be discussing psychiatrist, the work of a psychiatrist, the benefits of being treated by a psychiatrist.

WHAT IS A PSYCHIATRIST?

A psychiatrist is a kind of medical doctor in psychology that aims for the treatment of different patients with severe mental health problems.

This kind of medical doctor is different from counsellors or psychologists since they have the credentials from psychiatry and not just from psychology. 

A psychiatrist also tends to include psychotropic medications in the patient’s psychological intervention, unlike other mental health professionals.

This kind of medical doctor works in outpatient settings and hospitals with psychiatric wards and units.

A psychiatrist works with patients who are assessed to have severe psychological disorders that they may not control.

These kinds of psychological disorders as mentioned in the DSM-5 are anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, somatic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleeping disorders, eating disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurocognitive disorders, substance abuse disorders, addictive disorders, personality disorders, and impulse-control disorders. 

When it comes to diagnosing patients, a psychiatrist will assess if the patient’s psychological disorders make him or her distressed, dysfunctional in daily life, dangerous to oneself or others, and his or her behaviours are not normal in one’s society.

This kind of medical doctor tends to hospitalize the patient that meets these diagnostic criteria to give these kinds of patients a place where they can be taken care of and make sure that they learn how to deal with the real world once they’re stabilized.

What psychological problems can a psychiatrist treat?

The psychological problems that a psychiatrist can treat are the following mental health conditions:

  • anxiety 
  • phobias 
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • personality disorders 
  • schizophrenia 
  • depression and bipolar disorder
  • dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • eating disorders
  • sleep disorders
  • addictions

A psychiatrist has also been found to provide assistance and mental health support to people who are afflicted with chronic physical illnesses.

You can learn more about these kinds of psychological disorders by buying this DSM-5 on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

How do most psychiatrists work with their patients?

Psychiatrists work with patients with mental health problems through outpatient means or inpatient means.

Sometimes, this kind of medical doctor goes with other health professionals such as doctors, psychologists, and occupational therapists who need to care for a patient with the need of these professionals.

This health care team can work with the patient besides the psychiatrist where the patient will have more benefits because of this teamwork.

This kind of mental health doctor will also act as a consultant when in this kind of team to advise the other team members on what the mental health needs the patient may need in this time of emergency crises.

There will also be daily meetings with the health care team where the psychiatrist will review the patient’s mental health condition with other health professionals to find if there are other causes of this dysfunctional behaviour.

How to get an appointment with your psychiatrist?

You can get an appointment with your psychiatrist thanks to your general practitioner.

Most of the time, the general practitioner will be referring you first to the mental health team in NHS to check if you are eligible for a consultation with a psychiatrist.

If you prefer, you can see a private psychiatrist but this kind of doctor is usually strict since he or she wants a referral from the general practitioner.

Your general practitioner may also help you find or suggest some of these kinds of doctors (psychiatrist) near your location. 

You can also try addressing a psychiatry centre or clinic to find a psychiatrist or try online psychiatric services.

You are most likely to find this kind of doctor that specializes in treating a specific troubled population in the community. 

The main fields that psychiatrists may specialize in are the following:

  • childhood and adolescent psychiatry
  • adult psychiatry
  • older adult’s psychiatry
  • learning disabilities 
  • psychotherapy 

You can find some psychiatrists in the Medical Register in the UK and find which suits your mental health problem.

Some of these kinds of doctors may have information that they are part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists which you can safely trust with your mental health problem.

You can learn more about the different fields in psychiatry by buying this book on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

What kinds of psychological interventions can the psychiatrist offer you?

The kinds of psychological interventions that a psychiatrist can offer you are the following:

  • psychological treatment 
  • medication
  • brain stimulation procedures like electroconvulsive therapy.

Psychiatrists may also advise you some home remedies that you can try to minimize your symptoms of mental illness.

This kind of doctor will also help you understand your mental illness and what will be done with your symptoms in the course of psychological treatment.

Your psychiatrist can only recommend you with psychological interventions that are safe and effective for you.

This kind of doctor will also make you understand the following:

  • The reason why they suggested this treatment
  • how this psychological intervention works
  • what the side-effects of each of these treatments are
  • any potential danger of the treatment
  • how much the treatment costs.

It’s still your decision to agree to the psychological intervention that you are prescribed with.

What occurs during your appointment with the psychiatrist?

In your first assessment, the psychiatrist will ask about your symptoms and some important information about these symptoms such as your family finding you strange than you are before.

This kind of doctor will be looking at your mental illness by asking the following information:

  • about the mental health problem that brought you to see the psychiatrist
  • main questions about your life and thinking patterns
  • to do a simple physical examination like assessing your blood pressure, for instance, before prescribing certain psychotropic medications
  • for psychological information from other sources like your general practitioner, social workers, and relatives.

After assessing your mental health condition, the psychiatrist may prescribe medication or suggest other psychological interventions like counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

Based on your mental health situation, you will be able to meet with this kind of medical doctor for several weeks or several months and your form of treatments will also be based on your mental health problem.

A psychiatrist may remain in treating you with your prescribed psychological interventions or you may be referred to a community mental health care team who you may get more benefits from.

This kind of team works in several communities that your residence may be part in and help the community with their mental health needs.

You can learn more about what mental health professionals have been doing with community mental health by buying this book on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

What can you ask your psychiatrist about the whole psychological intervention?

You may ask your psychiatrist questions that are relevant to your prescribed psychological intervention such as the following:

  • your diagnosis 
  • how your psychiatrist has understood your current situation
  • how best to deal with your problems
  • your care protocol
  • what to do in emergency crises or even just if your circumstance changes
  • details about your diagnosis, treatment or recovery which can be found in websites, books or leaflets
  • local self-help teams

You can also get these kinds of information from other members in the mental health care team.

What you should not expect from your psychiatrist?

Here are the things that you should consider that you won’t get from your psychiatrist.

Physical examination

As mentioned before, a psychiatrist may check your blood pressure using medical tools or check your temperature.

However, this doctor won’t let you take off your clothes to examine you. 

Any suspected physical conditions should be checked by the general practitioner.

Physical examination only applies to a psychiatrist if you are admitted in a mental health hospital due to a chronic mental health problem. 

This means that the doctor who has admitted you for your suspected mental health problem will be the one doing your physical examination.

You can learn more about the procedures of this examination by buying this book on this website.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

Special relationship with the psychiatrist

The psychiatrist is ethically disturbing you if he or she asks you to meet him or her after office hours or the time of your therapy sessions.

This doctor shouldn’t be engaged with a sexual or intimate relationship with the patient as with all doctors.

Although this is almost a rare case since most psychiatrists may be seen as psychoanalyzing people wherever they go.

This makes these people who encounter them intimidated by how they might be judging them. 

However, psychiatrists don’t analyze patients or people that way. Psychoanalysis should only be done by psychotherapists who specialize in this therapy and would only initiate these therapy sessions with the client’s consent.

This can also be said towards psychotherapists who specialize in specific therapies such as rational emotive therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy which not all psychiatrists have expertise in.

You can learn more about psychoanalysis by buying this book here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed psychiatrist, the work of a psychiatrist, the benefits of being treated by a psychiatrist.

If you have any questions about a psychiatrist, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your questions.

FAQs: PSYCHIATRIST

What does a psychiatrist do?

A psychiatrist treats people that have severe problems in their mental health such as substance abuse.

These kinds of doctors are also responsible for assessing the person’s physical and mental health which can help determine the mental health problem and find a suitable treatment.

What is difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that a psychiatrist is a kind of doctor that prescribes medication to patients while psychologists concentrate on the progress of the client in psychotherapy and helping them alleviate from their unhealthy behaviours and thoughts by bringing some kind of behavioural intervention depending on what treatments are effective against some psychiatric symptoms. 

What are the different types of psychiatrists?

The different types of psychiatrists are forensic psychiatrists, addiction psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, geriatric psychiatrists, pain management psychiatrists, and psychosomatic psychiatrists.

These kinds of psychiatrists have different kinds of specializations that are used to treat different populations with different mental health problems.

Can I see a psychiatrist without a referral?

You can see a psychiatrist without a referral.

You can see this kind of doctor in a mental health hospital which can help you find the psychological treatment you need for the alleviation of your chronic mental health symptoms.

Although some psychiatrists such as private psychiatrists would want you to get a general practitioner’s referral.

What does a psychiatrist do for anxiety?

A psychiatrist does the treatment for anxiety such as psychotherapies and medications.

This kind of doctor will also provide medical management for you when you get too distressed with your anxiety symptoms that you may suddenly harm yourself.

Citations

NHS. Psychiatry.

RC PSYCH. What to expect of your psychiatrist in the UK.

Your Health in Mind. What’s a psychiatrist?.

PSYCHIATRIST (A complete guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.