Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Benefits Of Seeing A Psychiatrist?

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tednlou2:
If you're someone who has your basic depression with anxiety, is there any benefit of taking on another doctor (psychiatrist)?  I mean, I have a very qualified therapist.  And, I have been getting my depression med from my family doctor. 

I've never been to a psychiatrist.  Just curious whether they are suppose to be better?  I have no doubt they know more about meds than family docs.  But, I'm just on a basic SSRI.  I feel very comfortable with my therapist.  Psychiatrists aren't running special brain chemical labs, are they?  Right now, I would only see that as the only benefit--being able to actually document an imbalance.  And, I don't even think that is done widely.  I remember seeing a segment on 60 minutes or somewhere where some research center tested someone for low serotonin and other chemicals.  But, I don't think that is done at large.  Actually, I'm not sure whether testing ever came out of the research area.     

I guess I'm asking, because several people have told me a psychiatrist is really who patients with depression should be seeing.  Do you see a psychiatrist or a therapist?  Do you think there's much difference?     

Rockin:

--- Quote from: tednlou2 on September 01, 2012, 01:07:11 AM ---If you're someone who has your basic depression with anxiety, is there any benefit of taking on another doctor (psychiatrist)?  I mean, I have a very qualified therapist.  And, I have been getting my depression med from my family doctor. 

I've never been to a psychiatrist.  Just curious whether they are suppose to be better?  I have no doubt they know more about meds than family docs.  But, I'm just on a basic SSRI.  I feel very comfortable with my therapist.  Psychiatrists aren't running special brain chemical labs, are they?  Right now, I would only see that as the only benefit--being able to actually document an imbalance.  And, I don't even think that is done widely.  I remember seeing a segment on 60 minutes or somewhere where some research center tested someone for low serotonin and other chemicals.  But, I don't think that is done at large.  Actually, I'm not sure whether testing ever came out of the research area.     

I guess I'm asking, because several people have told me a psychiatrist is really who patients with depression should be seeing.  Do you see a psychiatrist or a therapist?  Do you think there's much difference?     

--- End quote ---

Therapists usually cannot write any prescription, psychiatrists can. That's pretty much the main difference. The last professional I went to was a therapist...saw him for 2 years and it was incredibly helpful, I never had a problem with depression ever again.

Ted if you feel your therapist is being helpful then why dwell on it? Did he ever tell you he feels you suffer from any kind of imbalance?

mecch:

--- Quote from: tednlou2 on September 01, 2012, 01:07:11 AM ---If you're someone who has your basic depression with anxiety, is there any benefit of taking on another doctor (psychiatrist)?  I mean, I have a very qualified therapist.  And, I have been getting my depression med from my family doctor. 

I've never been to a psychiatrist.  Just curious whether they are suppose to be better?  I have no doubt they know more about meds than family docs.  But, I'm just on a basic SSRI.  I feel very comfortable with my therapist.  Psychiatrists aren't running special brain chemical labs, are they?  Right now, I would only see that as the only benefit--being able to actually document an imbalance.  And, I don't even think that is done widely.  I remember seeing a segment on 60 minutes or somewhere where some research center tested someone for low serotonin and other chemicals.  But, I don't think that is done at large.  Actually, I'm not sure whether testing ever came out of the research area.     

I guess I'm asking, because several people have told me a psychiatrist is really who patients with depression should be seeing.  Do you see a psychiatrist or a therapist?  Do you think there's much difference?     

--- End quote ---

Of course the two jobs and trainings are different. 

If you are content with your therapist you got it good.  People content with their psychiatrist also have it good. 


Does your therapist have any imput on how your SSRI's are going?  Do you feel that is lacking?' Do you want some sort of body-mind insight that the therapist is not providing.  If so, a psychiatrist might be interesting but only if you can have talk therapy with the shrink and he/she takes on the whole project.

My psychiatrist has put me through a couple different cycles of different drugs that a non-MD therapist probably wouldn't be too invested in.  These include, SSRI, sleeping pills, attention deficit medications, and anti-anxiety medications. So my experience is that the psychiatrist can lead you faster into, though, and done with, the utility and inutility of these drugs as part of your mental health.  That is one of their specialties...  Seeing if drugs help and when they are no longer needed.

But if you are good on your SSRI and good with your therapist, you have it good.

My experience also is that the ID and family doctor take calls and consult with my psychiatrist because they are all doctors and these different "hierarchies" are important in Swiss culture.  So the psychiatrist is not out of the loop.

Rockin:

--- Quote from: mecch on September 01, 2012, 07:35:38 PM ---Of course the two jobs and trainings are different. 

If you are content with your therapist you got it good.  People content with their psychiatrist also have it good. 


Does your therapist have any imput on how your SSRI's are going?  Do you feel that is lacking?' Do you want some sort of body-mind insight that the therapist is not providing.  If so, a psychiatrist might be interesting but only if you can have talk therapy with the shrink and he/she takes on the whole project.

My psychiatrist has put me through a couple different cycles of different drugs that a non-MD therapist probably wouldn't be too invested in.  These include, SSRI, sleeping pills, attention deficit medications, and anti-anxiety medications. So my experience is that the psychiatrist can lead you faster into, though, and done with, the utility and inutility of these drugs as part of your mental health.  That is one of their specialties...  Seeing if drugs help and when they are no longer needed.

But if you are good on your SSRI and good with your therapist, you have it good.

My experience also is that the ID and family doctor take calls and consult with my psychiatrist because they are all doctors and these different "hierarchies" are important in Swiss culture.  So the psychiatrist is not out of the loop.

--- End quote ---

I do understand that some people actually need medicine to function properly in their everyday life. However, I get scared sometimes at the amount of medicine that Americans take these days. You have 2 sessions with the psychiatrist and he's already prescribing you pills instead of trying to take a, let's say, old-fashioned approach and see if you can improve without any sort of medicine.

I was prone to depressions when I was younger...and by depression I mean barely being able to get out of bed, not eating, not showering, not socializing...but it was all self-esteem issues that can occur when you are younger, especially if you are gay. My therapist cleared some of my family ghosts that were haunting me and helped me build up my self-esteem. Life took care of the rest. These days I may get sad sometimes but it never lasts long. Just hope I continue like this until I die.

mecch:
I am American but treated in Switzerland.  Every shrink is different but the great thing about talk therapy with a shrink is that there is no necessary wharehousing of a patient on psychoactive drugs.  Rather, the drugs are used just like a GP/MD uses his/her arsenal of drugs. 

ROCKIN - the "old fashioned approach" is, in my opinion a silly and simplistic layman's stereotype --- if it ignores today's drugs and today's knowledge about mental health.  The "old fashioned approach" sounds like a person has to suffer horribly. 

In contrast, someone in an acute phase of mental sickness who is treated by a good and comprehensive psychiatrist gets, through drugs, immediate relief from the pain, and protection from potential injury, and REAL or potential life dysfunction caused by mental illness.  The drugs are used when they show benefits, and discontinued when no longer needed. 

The drugs combined with talk therapy can cure mental illnesses and in the meantime, keep you working, keep your daily life bearable. 

Not to mention that a psychiatrist can identify mental illnesses or psychiatric conditions that simply MUST be treated with drugs.  Pipolar. Mania. Severe Depression.  Crippling anxiety.  Dramatic PTSD. Attention Deficit. And so on and so on.   Etc etc etc.   There is no "old fashioned way".

Yeah maybe people get too many drugs, Rockin, but people on unnecessary drugs or people who are not correctly monitored is a bad scanario, not the state of the art.

These days and age, if you get a talk therapist of any kind who helps you, and an MD prescribing drugs that are helpful, well that's half the battle. 

But don't throw out the value of a good shrink, Rockin. 

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