When scheduling their first appointment with a psychiatrist, many patients aren’t sure what to expect. For example, depression, which is a mental disorder that involves intense feelings of sadness and lack of motivation, may be effectively treated through psychotherapy, and does not require medication in all cases. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Regardless of their preconceived beliefs about medication, I always educate my patients so that they can make a balanced decision about the risks, benefits and alternatives to every treatment option. When a patient comes to my clinic with a psychiatric/mental health concern, I always seek to rule out medical causes. To get started on your treatment, contact us today and schedule an appointment. I target the most severe and urgent symptoms, and also co-morbid symptoms like anxiety, thought distortions, obsessions and compulsions. Once the psychiatrist can rule out these causes, as well as other disorders such as ADHD, psychosis, addiction, and bipolar disorder, they begin narrowing in on creating a depression treatment plan. Therefore, it is important to simultaneously employ the other treatments options in our arsenal. Psychiatry is a field of medicine that specifically focuses on diseases of the mind including depression. These include attention to diet/nutrition, exercise/physical activity, recreational activities/hobbies, chores/bill paying and personal hygiene. Even a single consultation can help to clarify the diagnosis, treatment options and can begin the healing process. Psychiatry is a field of medicine that specifically focuses on diseases of the mind including depression. Psychiatry is a field of medicine that specifically focuses on diseases of the mind including depression. I then look at the patient's specific symptoms of depression. That is specifically why I discussed psychotherapy and lifestyle changes and behavioral activation first. Within the psychotherapy umbrella, there are a lot of different strategies that a psychiatrist might use with a patient. Usually psychiatrists and their patients will both sit in chairs facing one another. Am I going to ask you to lie down on my couch? Hearing the patient describe their symptoms is an important first step for the psychiatrist to establish a baseline and to make sure that the symptoms of depression are not being caused by another condition. I base the type and intensity of therapy on my patients' stressors, symptoms and preference for the frequency of follow up visits. The symptoms of depression can make it difficult to complete day-to-day activities and can cause strain in personal relationships. Depression is a mood disorder that causes prolonged feelings of sadness or disinterest. To help answer some of these common questions first-time patients have, we wanted to put together an overview of how psychiatrists treat depression to give you an idea of what how your potential first session, and subsequent sessions, would go. He has written numerous articles about mental health and addiction topics. Lifestyle Change and Behavioral Activation Depression is associated with behavioral changes, as I mentioned in my previous article on the causes and signs of depression. I work with my patients to develop a plan that is tailored to their current motivation, functioning and abilities. can be causes by medical conditions such as thyroid disease, infections, hormone abnormalities, and side effects to medication. Email strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com, or give us a call at (860) 348-3376, and you can record your story in your own words. In other cases I refer my patients to another psychiatrist, a psychologist, or other therapist who specializes in a specific type of therapy. Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that aims to treat depression psychologically, as opposed to medically with medications. Do psychiatrists treat depression in the way that is portrayed in movies and television? Part of HuffPost Wellness. How many sessions does it take to begin noticing a decrease in symptoms? Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, If you or a loved one is experiencing the. Telephone 201.992.6970Office Fax 201.977.2890Billing Fax 201.977.1548, Monday – Friday9am – 7pm by appointment only. These treatment modalities can have significant positive effects on depression immediately and can serve as a bridge until medication can take full effect. Forms of psychotherapy include: Psychopharmacology is a form of treatment that relies on prescribing medication to treat the symptoms of depression. , psychosis, addiction, and bipolar disorder, they begin narrowing in on creating a depression treatment plan. Our role is similar to a primary care doctor, or general practitioner, who may need to refer a patient to a specialist. Sometimes referred to as clinical depression, the disorder can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues. A psychiatrist will typically begin by informing the patient about that everything they say remains confidential, unless the psychiatrist deems that something you say presents danger to yourself or another person. I work with my patients to pick a medication or combination of medication that best suit their personal and current needs. Even a single consultation can help to clarify the diagnosis, treatment options and can begin the healing process. Every individual patient possesses a unique medical and emotional history, as well as different range of symptoms and severity. Therefore, as difficult as it may be, I always encourage my patients to take an inventory of their current behaviors. Others come and start off by saying "I do not believe in medication." I work with them to decide if a medication is right for them. By entering into a normal routine of nutrition, exercise, socializing, and enjoyable activities or hobbies, sometimes a patient’s symptoms of depression will dissipate. Next I ask the patient a series of questions that help me get up to speed regarding their mental health, general health and family history. , any one of the treatment methods we reviewed above could provide significant relief. (You can read about these in my previous post, here.) I start off by reminding my patients that everything we discuss is confidential, unless what they discuss is dangerous to themselves or someone else. Are we going to talk about your childhood, your parents or your nightly dreams? Conclusion If you are suffering from depression, or know someone who is, my goal of writing these articles on depression is to spread a message of hope. You can follow Dr. Goldenberg at docgoldenberg.com and on Twitter: @docgoldenberg. Psychotherapy is also referred to as talk therapy or counseling, and is one of the more common treatment methods for depression. The symptoms of depression can make it difficult to complete day-to-day activities and can cause strain in personal relationships. Psychotherapy vs Medication Medications for the treatment of depression can take a week or two to take effect and up to another six to eight weeks to have maximal effect. Psychotherapy provides patients with a supportive and empathetic environment to discuss their stressors and emotional concerns without fear of judgement. I formulate a treatment plan based on the severity of the patient's symptoms, how much the depression is impacting their ability to function at work and/or home and their history of previous treatments. All of my patients receive supportive therapy. All rights reserved. ©2020 Verizon Media. I want to use this post to lift the veil on what going to a psychiatrist entails. Sometimes referred to as clinical depression, the disorder can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues. Then, a psychiatrist will begin asking you questions about your medical history, your day-to-day life, and your symptoms. When you come to a psychiatrist's office for the first time, you often do not know what to expect. Depression and anxiety can be causes by medical conditions such as thyroid disease, infections, hormone abnormalities, and side effects to medication. A decrease in symptoms in making a formal diagnosis and formulating the treatment of depression to the! 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