Making the decision to seek professional help with your behaviors, feelings or relationships is often not easy. It is however, very necessary if you are to overcome your challenges. Psychiatrists are medical doctors whose roles include diagnosing the conditions and prescribing medicine or any other treatment that they deem fit. Psychiatric care is important for people who experience problems such as psychosis, sleep problems or anxiety. You may find it challenging to find the right psychiatric care provider especially if you are not familiar with psychiatry. Let’s look at some guidelines to help you find the best psychiatrist.
It is very important to research the psychiatrist’s credentials. Any practicing psychiatrist must be certified by the board. By researching their credentials, you are assured that the doctor is fully qualified to handle mental health conditions. This will also help you confirm that the doctor you pick has no history of malpractice or disciplinary issues. By doing this, you are reassured that your problems will be handled by a qualified practitioner.
Referrals are also a very good place to start. This list of referrals can be gotten from your primary care doctor or even insurance company. You may also have friends or family members who have seen psychiatrists before and they can also refer them to you. This is a great way to save time because you won’t have to contact many of them before settling for the one you’re most comfortable with. You should then make a shortlist from those referrals and contact them to schedule an interview.
It goes without saying that communication is the very backbone of psychotherapy. It is therefore of utmost importance that you evaluate the psychiatrist’s communication style. From the very first meeting, take note of how they respond to your questions. You should feel comfortable talking to them so that you disclose all the information that will be used in diagnosing your condition. Therapy could last for months or even years so it is important that you have a friendly relationship based on mutual trust.
The psychiatrist’s experience in the field is also very paramount. With mental health issues, the more experience the psychiatrist has, the better your treatment will be. Inquire about the number of patients with a similar condition the doctor has handled before. If there is a specific procedure to be done, ask the doctor how many of those he or she has performed and whether there were any complications.
You should also consider your psychiatrist’s gender. It is imperative that you feel comfortable with your psychiatrist’s gender because then you will find it easier to talk to them about personal problems. This should, however, not deter you from going for the best psychiatrist you find. Getting the best service available should be your number one priority.