Seeking Professional Help In A Psychiatrist
In terms of the professional help, this is pretty much the last area I will be talking about. That is unless I come across anything else.
This is also where I am at right now in getting professional help myself.
As I've said before there is no chronological order into how to get help for mental health illnesses but being aware of what is available can help massively. Some people may see a psychiatrist first off, whereas others may exhaust all of the self-help available before turning to professional help and even then start elsewhere.
I must add, that I write all of these posts as a person still suffering. I'm not preaching as to what others should do but what I've done/am doing/or going to do and hopefully that helps someone else in a similar position.
Not too long ago I had heard of a psychiatrist but didn't really know too much about what they did. I had heard people saying they were going to see a psychiatrist but never asked why. Truth be told for a long time I had buried my head in the sand and pretended it would all go away and I wouldn't have to deal with any of it. I guess it worked for so long but in the end, as it so often does, if you don't do anything it will inevitably get worse.
What does a Psychiatrist do?
A psychiatrist, unlike a psychologist or counsellor, is a doctor who is trained in Psychiatry*. Psychiatrists must be medically qualified doctors who have chosen to specialise in psychiatry. This means they can prescribe medication as well as recommend other forms of treatment.
*Psychiatry is a medical field concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health conditions.
A psychiatrist will have learnt to do the following through years of education and training;
- Assess a person's state of mind.
- Use the 'biopsychosocial' model of understanding. This emphasises the importance of a person's past experiences, family, culture, surroundings and work as well as any medical features.
- Diagnose a mental illness.
- Use a range of psychological treatments.
- Use a range of medications.
- Help a person recover.
Primarily you do need to be referred to see a psychiatrist by your GP or another doctor but you do have the option of going private if you wish.
I was referred to see a psychiatrist at the start of January. It took me two weeks to hear back from them and once I had contacted them I was told it would be a further six to twelve weeks before I would get an appointment. Quite a long winded process but hopefully once that will pay off.
Ever since I was younger I've been looking for a diagnosis. I believe that seeing a psychiatrist they will be able to give me a much clearer diagnosis than what I've been given in the past. This will allow me to get the necessary treatment going forward and also I will be able to gain a much clearer understanding of how I can help myself as well.
A question arose the other day during my assessment for private therapy which was - what do you want to get out of this? I wasn't exactly sure and I sat there a bit dumbfounded. I hadn't actually considered why I was there, I had told myself so much I needed this, I hadn't actually considered why I needed it.
However, I know my reason behind seeing a psychiatrist and it has been the same reason what I have been asking every health care professional I have seen over the years and that is I want a diagnosis.
I hate that feeling of being in limbo, not really knowing.
I don't have a set date yet but at least I know at some point in the future I will get to see a psychiatrist.
I'll be writing a follow-up post in the future covering how my appointment went so keep an eye out for that.