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FAQs/ What does a psychiatrist do?
Psychiatrists assess, diagnose, and plan treatments for the care and rehabilitation of mental illness, and emotional and behavioral disorders. They’re trained doctors who specialize in mental health, meaning they can prescribe medication and have great knowledge about physical and mental illness.
Depression – Psychiatrists assess, diagnose, and treat depression through a combination of techniques and therapies. They can help determine the cause of depression, and rule out possible physical ailments that may to blame. They will then tailor create a treatment plan based on the severity of the symptoms, and how much the depression is impacting the patient’s ability to function in daily life.
Anxiety – Another common mental disorder, psychiatrists help diagnose and treat anxiety disorders through a combination medication and therapy options. They can educate the suffering patient, and arm them with tools and techniques to reduce their symptoms, and improve their ability to function in their daily lives. They’re experts when it comes to treatment options such as talk therapy (or psychotherapy/psychological counseling) and medications that can relieve symptoms.
Schizophrenia – Psychiatrists can treat and diagnose schizophrenia, and rule out any other mental health disorders or medical conditions. They perform testing and psychiatric evaluations, as well create a treatment to relieve symptoms, and help the patient manage their symptoms, and function in their daily life. Treatments include, but are not limited to, therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, cognitive enhancement therapy, prescribing medications, and psychosocial therapy such as social skills training to learn how to navigate and become a part of a community. Schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, so the sooner proper treatment is sought, the sooner symptom relief and management can begin.
Bipolar disorder – Psychiatrists are able to assess, diagnose, and treat bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms, and improving quality and function of life as much as possible. Psychiatrists use a combination of medication, psychotherapy, education, and ongoing support. Psychotherapy is vital to bipolar disorder treatment; such therapy options include cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), psychoeducation, family-focused therapy, and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT).
Eating disorders – Psychiatrists have an understanding of the body and the mind, so they’re the best help when it comes to eating disorders. They can create a custom treatment plan based on the symptoms and type of eating disorder a patient is suffering from. Psychiatrists will then prescribe combination of therapy, nutrition education, and in some cases medications. They’ll also monitor the medical health of the patient during treatment, and may even collaborate with nutritionists and other medical professionals to ensure the most effective treatment possible.
Addiction – Psychiatrists can assess, help determine and treat a “dual diagnosis”, or when substance abuse co-occurs with a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Psychiatrists are vital during the weaning and withdrawal periods of addiction rehabilitation, as well as throughout the detox process. They help manage and navigate withdrawal symptoms, mental and physical distress, and offer guidance and counseling throughout the treatment process.
What else do they treat? – They’re doctors that have specialized in mental health, so they have a deep understanding of physical and mental illness, and how they two interact. Treat a wide variety of mental disorders that range from mild and temporary, to severe and chronic. Included but not limited to: Mental distress, psychosis, mania. Some people have multiple mental disorders, psychiatrists can help diagnose and determine what they are, and the best course of action.