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When to Consult a Psychiatric Doctor

Psychiatry involves diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioural problems; and a medical doctor that specializes in mental health treatment is referred to as a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist also treats patients with drug abuse disorders, as well as psychological problems including mental and physical aspects. 

A psychiatric could work independently or practice in clinics, general and psychiatric hospitals, medical centres, prisons, nursing homes, business companies, military, rehabilitation centres, etc. With the changing lifestyle today and the stress of this fast pacing life, a lot of people suffer mental, emotional and behavioural disorders that need to be treated to avoid any serious complications. Thus, the need for a psychiatric doctor has increased with time and while it may not be a widely accepted phenomenon today, the necessity of it cannot be denied. More so, psychiatric help is often considered taboo and looked down upon, hence, a lot of people who need the help cannot avail it due to lack of courage, as well as lack of awareness. However, one must accept that consulting a psychiatric doctor is no way a sign of weakness and instead, it reflects on the dire need to keep one’s mind healthy just as the physical body.

Mental health is often neglected and not paid much attention to and in many cases no considered viable for treatment due to several reasons. The pace at which the world is progressing – where people are more centric on work than family, more focussed on success than relaxation, more concerned about social media than their own lives, bent on working towards money rather than peace – emotions tend to get neglected and affected causing heavy stress on the mental wellness. More so, certain incidents and accidents often tend to create lasting and troubling impressions that need to be treated to resume the quality of life. Scarcity of time, the everyday major and minor adaptations, and the continuous exhaustion are all factors that contribute to mental, emotional and behaviours disorders.

On the other hand, sometimes one might not realize the fact that they need to consult a psychiatric doctor and continue to suffer symptoms of mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. However, the below symptoms or need to shed light on the right time to consult a psychiatric doctor.

  • Panic attack
  • Sudden hallucinations
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Depression or sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Consistent and unexplained lack of will
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hearing voices
  • Imaginary figures
  • Constantly troubled mind
  • Harmful overthinking
  • Excessive stress
  • Unexplained social cut off
  • Fighting behavioural tendencies
  • Anxiousness
  • Lethargy and lousiness
  • Lack of interest in general life
  • Intention to harm others
  • Uncontrollable anger 
  • Consistent and unexplained silence
  • Lack of desire to live or function
  • Unforgettable disturbing memories (such as the death of near ones, etc.)
  • Trauma from an incident or accident
  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Gaming, shopping, video gaming addictions
  • Eating disorders

While these symptoms vary from person-to-person, they surely indicate a dire need to consult a psychiatric to correct these disorders. More so, a person may experience multiple or one of these symptoms; however, sometimes these symptoms may be temporary and fade away with time. In cases, where sharing feeling or talking to someone heals the symptoms or a general time-lapse is proving useful, the need for a psychiatric may be optional. But for cases, where the symptoms have lasted long and in fact have shown harmful results, the need for a psychiatric cannot be denied. 

A physiatrist may conduct a full series of medical and psychological tests, along with one-to-one discussions with the patient to get complete clarity on the mental and physical state. The psychiatric doctor might ask for medical history, family history, personal and work references, hobbies, inclinations, dislikes, likes, etc. to get to know the patient and its behaviour better. Depending on the diagnosis, the psychiatrist will suggest a focussed treatment plan to ensure mental health.

Psychiatrists can suggest treatments including:

  • Psychotherapy (including individual, family, group therapy; cognitive behavioural therapy; dialectical behavioural therapy; interpersonal therapy; eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy)
  • Medications (involving anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, etc.)
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Support groups
  • Intensive outpatient care
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Residential mental health treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Activities such as singing, dancing, and painting

That said, treatment for mental, emotional and behavioural disorders is subjective to a patient and aims to achieve desired set results. The recovery period can be short or long depending on the intensity of the problem. Nonetheless, mental health is equally important as physical health; hence, awareness about its symptoms and treatment should be spread more among people of all age groups and gender.

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