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Finding the Right Psychiatrist

Finding the Right Psychiatrist

Recommendations can be gained from many sources such as a primary care doctor or friends who have seen particular psychiatrists. Getting a recommendation from a primary care doctor is a good idea, as they have a good insight into the situation and can possibly guide people towards the right psychiatrist for their particular needs.

On the other hand a recommendation from a friend can be useful as they are able to provide feedback about the effectiveness of the therapeutic and medical diagnosis and whether the therapy actually contributed to their sense of well-being.  At times it may seem difficult to ask other people, with the stigma attached to seeking mental health support, but it can be worth it and you might be surprised to learn of other friends who have not told you about their problems.

Nowadays, the social stigma attached to psychotherapy and psychiatric help is not as bad as in the past and therefore, it is likely that friends would have undertaken mental health services or know of someone who has.  The choice is up to the individual whether they wish to divulge personal information about their problems to a close friend. This is understandably a very personal choice.   

It is possible to get an online recommendation for a psychiatrist from various different online portals. This can work on some occasions but can also feel a little impersonal – some would prefer to talk to a doctor directly but others find it is beneficial not to have to discuss their problems with too many people. Online services will often offer lists of the good psychiatrists in a specific area, for example New York psychiatrists, so you can contact them directly.  

Picking the Right Psychiatrist

There are a variety of psychotherapists who perform a range of treatments that include psychotherapy with different types of cognitive or behavioural therapies.  There are also psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses who perform cognitive and behavioural therapies as well as administering medication to clients when necessary. The efficacy of these treatments can vary depending upon the particular type of illness in question.  Picking the right psychiatrist who specialises in the right mental health area is crucial to getting the correct diagnosis and treatment.  A primary care doctor is going to be a reliable source about the specialities of psychiatrists, but don't overlook friends, family or online recommendations as possible sources.

Availability

Mental health care professionals and in particular psychiatrists are not as readily available as primary care doctors, and the majority seem to live and work in big cities such as New York and LA. The waiting list in other places can be very long, therefore it is important to get onto a waiting list as soon as possible.

If there is no availability, then consider a psychiatric nurse in your area.  They have the ability to prescribe anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and other mental health medication and can also act as psychotherapist. 

Insurance companies normally have a list of local psychiatrists in the area who are also covered by the particular insurance plan.   Should there be no available psychiatrist to see on a regular basis, then attempt to have at least two sessions with a psychiatrist at some stage.  It is important to gain a formal diagnosis and a medication regime.  After this, the primary care doctor should be able to administer medication and follow up on any issues.  Within big cities this problem shouldn't occur with many psychiatrists available.