Psychiatrists are mental health specialists who offer medical treatment for a variety of mental disorders. Three Seas provides both psychiatric and psychological services to meet all of your counselling needs. If you’re considering psychiatric care, here is what you need to know.
What is a Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with specialised training in mental health care. A generation or two ago, many psychiatrists offered mental health counselling. Most psychiatrists of today primarily offer medical consultations, which means that if you need therapy and medication, you might find yourself working with both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Some psychiatrists, though, do still offer counselling, so if you pursue psychiatric care, be sure to ask your therapist what you can expect. Some other things psychiatrists can do include:
- Refer you for additional medical testing.
- Make recommendations based on your overall health. For example, a person with diabetes might do better with a different medication than an individual who has high blood pressure or no medical issues at all.
- Recommend lifestyle changes that could improve the efficacy of your treatment.
- Talk to you about how diet and exercise might affect your medication.
- Offer you solutions for better managing any side effects associated with your medication.
- Help you understand the biological underpinnings of your mental health; many people feel guilty about mental illness, but a psychiatrist can help you understand that it’s your biochemistry, not your self-control, that is the problem.
What Does a Psychiatrist Do?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialised training in mental health. They can assess a patient’s mental and physical health, in addition to prescribing psychiatric medications. Some examples of the responsibilities of a psychiatrist include:
- Diagnosing mental health conditions.
- Determining whether and which medication is appropriate and prescribing that drug.
- Monitoring medication side effects and making both medical and lifestyle recommendations to reduce the severity of those side effects.
- Monitoring for symptoms of disorders that might contribute to mental health symptoms.
- Assessing and reassessing the safety of a treatment plan.
- Working with a psychologist, therapist, or another care provider to craft a treatment plan that includes both therapy and medication.
- Recommending psychiatric hospitalisation when necessary.
Do I Need a Psychiatrist?
Mental health issues are medical issues no different from heart disease or diabetes. They’re not something you can think away and are certainly not a sign that you lack self-control or social skills. Medical issues demand care, so almost anyone who struggles with mental health concerns can benefit from a consultation with a psychiatrist.
Some people attend therapy for months without experiencing a change. A psychiatric consultation could be particularly beneficial since medication may improves the effectiveness of treatment and address underlying brain chemistry issues. Some other signs that you could benefit from psychiatric care include:
- You are experiencing intense mental health symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts or the inability to sleep.
- You have a previous history of mental illness or have previously taken medication.
- You’re currently on medication, but it is no longer working.
- You have mental health symptoms accompanied by other issues, such as high blood pressure or nausea.
- You have a family history of severe mental illness.
- Your mental health symptoms have undermined your relationships with others, or others have expressed concerns that you might be mentally ill.
- You see or hear things that aren’t there.
When to See a Psychiatrist
The above symptoms warrant a trip to a psychiatrist, but when on your mental health journey should you see a therapist? There’s no right time. Many people pursue psychiatric care alongside therapy. In fact, treatment can significantly improve the effectiveness of psychiatric care. If you’d prefer to avoid medication, consider trying 2-3 months of treatment. If therapy has not produced significant improvements in that time, this suggests the problem may be a brain chemistry imbalance issue that is best resolved by medication.
At Three Seas, our team works together to craft a comprehensive treatment plan. No matter where you pursue treatment, though, ensure that your psychiatrist is willing and able to collaborate with other treatment providers.
How to Find a Good Psychiatrist
Becoming a psychiatrist takes 11 years, but every therapist varies in his or her competence, dedication, and field of expertise. When choosing a therapist, you should interview them just like you would require a job applicant; after all, this person is applying for the job of being your mental health partner.
Some questions to ask include:
- Have you treated patients like me in the past?
- Do you offer counselling in addition to medication?
- What is your speciality?
- How long have you been practising?
- How long do you think I will need treatment?
- Are there any side effects associated with the treatment you recommend?
- What if I don’t like the treatment you recommend? Are there alternatives?
- If treatment doesn’t work, what will you do?
- Can you work with my other treatment providers?
- What steps do you take to protect my privacy?
Why choose The Three Seas private psychiatry services?
Local Psychiatrists That Accept Medicare
Medicare has helped equalised psychiatric care for Australians, and a range of mental health professionals accept Medicare. At Three Seas, we gladly welcome Medicare patients and are happy to discuss your benefits with you in clear, simple terms that you can understand.
Psychiatrists Specialising in Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are complex medical disorders involving both brain chemistry issues, lifestyle concerns, and problematic thoughts and behaviours. Therapists who specialise in the treatment of these disorders work with you to address all three components of good health. At Three Seas, we partner with you to craft an individualised treatment plan that addresses your needs. We:
- Talk to you about medication options, listen to your concerns about side effects, and work with you to find the right drug or drug combination.
- Offer comprehensive counselling to help you better understand your thoughts and feelings and behaviours
- Suggestions about how lifestyle can affect your mental health. For example, some research suggests that diet and exercise can help regulate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you struggle with mental health concerns, there is no reason to be ashamed. We can help you navigate a path back to an improved quality of life.
Our services can be conducted face-to-face as well as online via Telehealth and phone consultations.