It can be challenging to make a decision to ask for help when it comes to your feelings, behaviors, and relationships. However, seeking help from a psychiatrist is one of the first and most important steps toward overcoming your problems. The role of a psychiatrist, as a medical doctor, is mainly diagnosing conditions and prescribing medication or other treatments, which can help manage the symptoms. These may include anxiety, sleeping problems, and psychosis.
There are also some psychiatrists that counsel patients and perform psychiatric procedures, like psychotherapy. Psychiatrists can also make recommendations to psychologists and counselors. There are also geriatric psychiatrists who focus on prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in elderly patients. You can click here to learn more about it.
If you are not familiar with psychiatry, it can be difficult for you to find one that you will be comfortable with. It’s because in finding a psychiatrist, there are some important factors you need to look into to find the right one for you.
1. Ask for recommendations
The first step you can do is to ask for recommendations from the people you know. It can be from your primary care doctor, your healthcare clinic, or your insurance company. Aside from that, you can also ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. After creating a referral list, take time to research the credentials of the doctors, including their experience. As you narrow down your list, you can call each of their offices to make an appointment to meet and interview the doctor.
2. Consider the Psychiatrist’s Experience
If you are facing mental health issues, it is important to consider the experience of the psychiatrist. It’s because the more experience the psychiatrist has with a condition or procedure, the better the results are likely to be. You can ask how many patients with your specific condition the psychiatrist has treated. This way, you can decide and be confident that the psychiatrist can handle your situation well.
3. Research the credentials of the psychiatrist
One of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a psychiatrist is board certification. It’s because it’s something that will tell you that the doctor underwent the necessary training, skills, and experience to provide healthcare in psychiatry. If you are searching for a psychiatrist for your child, you need to find a psychiatrist that is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. If it is for an aging parent, you need to look for a geriatric psychiatrist.
Aside from these, you also need to confirm that the psychiatrist has no history of malpractice or disciplinary actions. You can search for their medical school, training hospital, and certifications to check if they are worthy of the issues you want to consult about.
4. Check what your insurance covers
One of the major reasons why people hold back from seeking proper mental health help is money. With this, you can check your insurance plan and see if it covers appointments with psychiatrists. You may also find a psychiatrist in your network to get the most from your insurance benefits and as well as pay the least out of pocket. You can ask your insurer for a list of psychiatrists who accept your insurance. It can be useful in comparing their credentials, experience, and other qualities to find a doctor that will be perfect for your mental health needs and your financial status.
5. Evaluate the communication style of the psychiatrist
When choosing a psychiatrist, it’s important to pick one with whom you are comfortable talking and someone who supports your information needs. During your first visit, ask the psychiatrist a question and see how he or she will answer. After that, trust your instincts, whether you will continue or find another psychiatrist. It’s important to find a psychiatrist who shows an interest in getting to know you and as well as respect your decisions because therapy can take months and even years. Meaning, you will need to build a relationship of mutual trust.
6. Read reviews of previous patients
Another way to choose a good psychiatrist is by reading the reviews of other patients. See what other people have to say about a doctor, as this can give you insight into how he or she practices medicine, including how he or she operates his or her medical practice. The reviews of previous patients usually include their experiences about scheduling appointments, waiting time, office environment, and the friendliness of the staff. By reading the reviews, you can learn how much time the psychiatrist spends with the patients. But you shouldn’t base your choice solely on patient ratings and reviews.
7. Set your expectations
When it comes to searching for psychiatric medications and therapy. Keep in mind that psychiatrists are good when it comes to prescribing, but they often have limited training in counseling. There are many patients who have fired psychiatrists because they are not personable or they only offered short sessions. Do not confuse the roles of a psychiatrist and a psychologist. If you want to undergo talk therapy, you can visit a psychologist or a therapist, but they will not be able to prescribe medications.
These are some of the best tips we can give you when it comes to choosing a psychiatrist. Just make sure that the one you will be choosing is someone you are comfortable with, who can answer your questions well, and you will respect your decisions. We hope these tips will help you in finding the perfect psychiatrist for your needs.