Fortunately, we live in an age where more people are actively working to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health. Today, more people embrace the benefits of prioritizing their mental health and seeking help whenever they need help to handle their feelings, emotions, relationships, and mental health problems. Asking yourself if you should visit a psychiatrist is often the first step in acknowledging your mental health problem and that you may need help.
How does a psychiatrist help?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry, and their role is to prevent, diagnose, evaluate and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. A person must undergo medical school training, write an examination to obtain a state license and then practice for four years in psychiatry residency.
The first year involves spending time in a hospital working with patients suffering from a wide range of mental illnesses. The other additional years involve learning the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders and the use of psychiatric medication and psychotherapy. After the residency training, some psychiatrists specialize in other fields of psychiatry such as:
- Child and adolescent psychiatry.
- Addiction psychiatry.
- Pain medicine.
- Sleep medicine.
- Forensic psychiatry.
- Geriatric psychiatry.
- Mind and body medicine.
A psychiatrist is qualified to make an accurate mental health diagnosis based on assessing the physical aspects that may contribute to a patient’s psychological health problems. Another role of a psychiatrist is that they can prescribe medications that treat mental disorders. A psychiatrist can help you address your mental health problems by combining medication and therapy.
When should you see a psychiatrist?
It is difficult for some people to know when to see a psychiatrist. Let’s look at some of the key indicators that a psychiatrist’s help is needful.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Inability to control your emotions.
- Withdrawal from social situations.
- Excessive anxiety, stress, sadness, or worry.
- Temper tantrums.
- Frequent nightmares.
- Exposure to environmental stressors.
- Threats to self and others.
- A life-changing trauma, for example, a rape ordeal or a car accident.
- Grieving for an extended period.
- Not performing well in work or school.
- A chemical imbalance in the brain.
- Postpartum depression.
- Alcohol and drug use.
- An undiagnosed brain tumor or infection.
- Poor nutrition.
- Prenatal brain damage during birth.
Determining when to visit a psychiatrist needs an honest self-assessment. Although you should not try to diagnose mental problems on your own, you should be aware of emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns that are unhealthy. For instance, temporary bouts of stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings might indicate a larger mental problem that requires professional attention.
If it interferes with your relationships or ability to function well during your daily activities, it is vital to see a psychiatrist. Some instances of acute mental health disorders that are recurring include:
- Eating or sleeping problems.
- Extreme anger.
- Periods of intense sadness.
- Thoughts of self-harm.
- Suicidal thoughts.
The last thoughts
At times the signs arent always clear, but if you are experiencing a life situation that is difficult to handle, it may be a good idea to see a psychiatrist. Seeking help to manage your mental health is not something to be ashamed of but something you should be proud of.