Psychiatry is field of medicine concerned with diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that consider the mental and physical health of an individual when diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders. When diagnosing patients, psychiatrists can order medical labs and testing to obtain information about their physical health. Using this information about their physical health, as well as information about patient’s genetics and family history, psychiatrists can establish a treatment plan for psychiatric conditions that addressed both the patient’s mental and physical health.

Did You Know?

Psychiatrists are required to attend medical school and complete an additional four years of psychiatric residency to learn about psychotherapy, the use of psychiatric medications, and other possible treatments for mental health conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to see a psychiatrist?

You may need to see a psychiatrist if you have experienced sudden panic attacks, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, or if you hear voices. You may also need to see a psychiatrist if you have been experiencing long-term feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that are causing a lack of function in your everyday life.

What can I expect when seeing a psychiatrist?

During your initial appointment, you can expect your psychiatrist to ask you a number of questions relating to both your physical and mental health. Based on your answers to these questions, your psychiatrist may develop a treatment plan or they may opt to run some medical tests to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

Depending on your treatment plan, you may be prescribed certain medications to alleviate your symptoms. These can include antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives and anxiolytics, hypnotics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants. Usually psychotherapy is also prescribe in coordination with pharmacology.

The most commonly used type of psychotherapy is talk therapy. Talk therapy helps you address and alter behavioral patterns so that they are beneficial to your physical and mental health. You may practice talk therapy with your psychiatrist or you may also have the option of seeing a psychologist.

What will I need to do after seeing a psychiatrist?

After seeing your psychiatrist, you will need to continue to take your prescribe medication and attend your prescribed psychotherapy sessions. Psychiatric disorders require consistent and thoughtful care and your participation in your treatment plan is essential for a successful outcome.