4 Psychiatric Services to Meet Mental Health Needs

Mental health is complicated because it deals with the physical structure of a person's brain, as well as the more intangible aspects of their thoughts and feelings. Psychiatrists are equipped to manage and treat mental illnesses across both of these fronts using talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Seeking psychiatric services when you're in need of help is a brave and wise thing to do. These are some psychiatric services that psychiatrists across various disciplines can provide:

1. Counseling

Some people mistakenly think that only psychologists offer talk therapy. However, psychiatrists can offer counseling and talk therapy as well. Many mental illnesses, such as depression, respond best to a combination of therapy and medication. Receiving counseling from the same doctor who prescribes your medication can be convenient. It can also help your psychiatrist better monitor the effect of medication on your overall mental health. Like other therapists, psychiatrists may employ cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance commitment therapy, or a number of different methods.

2. Addiction Treatment

Addiction is sometimes seen as some kind of moral failing, but it can be better understood as a type of mental illness. "Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" seldom works when it comes to treating addiction. However, psychiatrists can help patients work to overcome addictions to alcohol, prescription medications, and other substances. When necessary, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs to help people taper down their substance use safely and effectively. Addiction counseling provided by a psychiatrist can also help people address the psychological reasons for their substance use.

3. Mental Illness Management

Psychiatrists can help people with chronic mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders, to manage their mental health. Certain medications, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, and antipsychotics, can be used to control the symptoms of these mental illnesses. Not all medications work for every patient, but your psychiatrist will work with you to find the medicine that controls your symptoms with the fewest number of side effects. Your psychiatrist may encourage you to journal your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis as a way to track the effects of various medications on your mood and thoughts over time.

4. Emergency Care

Finally, psychiatrists can provide emergency psychiatric care for patients who are experiencing crises. Psychiatrists can offer emergency appointments to adjust medications or help patients work through traumatic incidents. If you're in a situation where you're a danger to yourself or others, your psychiatrist can give a reference for inpatient treatment.