I realized, however, that I did not have information regarding a medical friend (AKA a psychiatrist). You can consider this passage you’re reading RIGHT NOW to be 2A on that 14 item list, as an amendment to the one before it.
Let’s back the runaway train of thought up just a tad so you can get on:
Do you or a loved one experience some reactions to life situations that interfere with normal behavior? We’re talking inability to leave the house, extreme anxiety to the point of a raised heart rate and panic, thoughts of suicide, and/or manic and depressive episodes.
Honestly, I could go on and on. I could name ev’ry depressive phenomenon… but there are many, many possible symptoms to consider. If you are concerned, follow my second advice to get a paid friend.
So… should you consider a psychologist or a psychiatrist? They are more than a few letters’ difference.
All of my personal experience has been with the former; of the familiae Counselor or the subclass Therapist. That’s not to say I don’t have any knowledge of psychiatrists. I have several family members and friends who have talked to me about them, plus my flash internet education just a few minutes ago (don’t worry, I read fast).
One website I read over said that psychiatrists are a good choice because they attend medical school first. After all that work, their residency is specifically in psychiatry. They’re a doctor who understands your brain better than a zombie would, and can use a medical foundation with any treatment plans.
One family member I read over, however, says the psychiatrist is only there to write her prescriptions.
I know some who fit a little of both, and think you can find a really great psychiatrist. Even if you go more with the psychologist route; consider these tips:
- Get your regular doctor or counselor to give you a referral. Heck, maybe they go to a psychiatrist.
- Check if your insurance covers anyone and who that person might be.
- Internet stalk them to learn their credentials.
- Read about their work experience. If you suspect your cocktail of symptoms are Bipolar related, you may not want to visit a guy who says he’s good with eating disorders.
- Think about whether you want a dude or a chick. I prefer females, myself, as they empathize with my goings-on.
- Read through their internet ratings. You simply don’t want to go with the 1 star blender.
(By the by, I lifted these ideas from Health Grades.)
Psychiatrists have the legal ability to write prescriptions. Whether that’s mainly what they do or no, you’ll need them (or a regular medical doctor) if your symptoms could really use the help of medication.
If you’re unsure, feel intimidated, or don’t want to even think about medication; that’s totally cool. We’re about small steps, remember? Talk to someone you trust first. That may lead to feeling comfortable enough to ask your medical doctor about a psychologist. Said doctor or counselor might know a psychiatrist they play golf with on Saturdays.
Start small. Ask for what you need. You are worth it.