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What's a psychiatrist role?

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Old 09-20-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Nixi HB User
What's a psychiatrist role?

Can I ask a silly question? What exactly is the role of a psychiatrist? Is it just giving medication or more? My doctor wanted to refer me to one a few months ago, coz I was suicidle, but I refused because I was worried with how it would look, when I came to getting a job. I see a psychotherapist once a week for about 7 months, but I'm still depressed, and I'm on anti-depressants. I don't know if I made the right decision and wonder whether I should ask to be refered? WOuld it make any difference? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-21-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: What's a psychiatrist role?

It's not a silly question..from things I see on tv, the psychiatrist is supposed to be the one who talks to you and helps you get better...but, my understanding from the REAL world is that a psychiatrist ONLY prescribes and oversees medications....a psychologist would be the one who would do the "talk" therapy .....

Old 09-21-2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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Re: What's a psychiatrist role?

Nixi -

Who prescribes you your meds? A family doctor? A psychiatrist is actually the one who should be prescribing them because they're more knowledgeable of how the brain works.

Old 09-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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Re: What's a psychiatrist role?

First, it is illegal for a prospective employer to ask if you ever saw a psychiatrist or therapist, or ever took antidepressants. Some jobs might require a physical exam, but that doctor wouldn't be allowed to tell the employer any of that. They're only supposed to tell the employer if you meet the physical requirements of that job or not. Make sure you sign the privacy papers at all our your doctor's offices, saying that you do not allow them to share your medical information with anyone else.

And if an employer did get into your health records, seeing a psychiatrist wouldn't look any worse than seeing a therapist or taking antidepressants.

If you're still depressed ( and suicidal!) after all this time, I would definitely consider changing medications and/or therapists. A psychiatrist would be much more knowledgable than a regular doctor, especially about new medications and how to combine medications to suit your exact needs. I had to try 4 different antidepressants before I found the best one for me. Also there are many different kinds of psychotherapy, and some therapists are better than others.

Psychiatrists mainly manage medications, but some psychiatrists do some counseling, especially with new patients. They might also be able to recommend some other therapy options for you. Don't hesitate to get the help you need.

TIP: Most psychiatrists in my area have a long wait time (2 months!) to get the first appointment. If you're feeling suicidal, don't feel ashamed to tell the nurse when you call to make the appointment. It could get you in much faster.

Last edited by lucylucy; 09-21-2008 at 11:18 PM.

Old 09-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: What's a psychiatrist role?

Maybe it is different in the US but from my professional and personal expereince a psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in mental health. Yes they do perscribe and manage medication but they are also highly trained and experienced in various forms of therapy, usually talk and/or behavioural therapy. Becouse of their knoweldge of the way the brain functions they able to manipulate (via therapy) your thought and behaviour processes so that they are more positive and constructive for you. A psychologist is very similar but they do not have an underlying medical degree and cannot perscribe meds but are still highly trained in therapy's.
your local doctor will be a generalist and not specifically specialised in any one thing, even if they have a special interst is a particular field such as mental health.
If you are suicidal and/or severly depressed then it would be of benefit to have therapy and medication management by the same person becouse then they are more likely to compliment each other.
Take care

Last edited by AliceT; 09-22-2008 at 09:20 PM.

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