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OJAS is a Psychiatry Institute-cum-Counselling Center, providing a holistic Psychiatric and Psychological care for the people suffering with Mental disorders

Who treats psychological problems? And what is the difference between psychologiast and psychiatrist?

Psychological problems are treated by different mental health professionals
Psychiatrist, psychologists, psychiatric social workers and counselors
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has done MBBS and then post-graduation training in the field of Psychiatry. Psychiatrists assess both mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbances. They treat patients with both medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy). A psychologist is a mental health professional who has done M.Phil in clinical psychology. They are not medical doctors and usually do their graduation (BA) in psychology. They provide treatment through talk therapy and perform various psychological tests which help in making diagnosis and treatment of patient. They are not licensed to prescribe medications and treat physical illnesses. A psychiatric social worker is a mental health professional who specializes in the field of psychiatry social work (MPhil). They can provide some talk therapies and are involved in the rehabilitation of the patient back in the society. They cannot prescribe medications. Counsellors are mental health professionals from various backgrounds and have a basic understanding of psychological problems. They provide basic talk therapies depending on their training. They cannot prescribe medications.

Consulting a psychiatrist means that I must be MENTAL?

Psychiatrist treats many different kind of psychological problems like anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, phobias, panic disorders, anger outbursts, drug dependence, epilepsy, academic issues and various other issues. This common misconception about being mad is mainly due to depiction of psychiatry patients in movies and media. That constitutes only a minority of patients seen by psychiatrist.

Will other specialty doctors treat psychiatry problems?

Due to deficiency of mental health professionals in India, doctors from other specialty also try to treat psychiatry patients as they have got 1-2 months of training in psychiatry during the period of their graduation or post-graduation. But for expert opinions you should consult a psychiatrist only.
If you have a problem with your electrical issues you do not consult a plumber.

All medications given by psychiatrists are addictive ?

Psychiatrist prescribes a wide range of medications. Only few category of medication are addictive and they are stopped after 4-6 weeks of initiation of treatment. They are mainly started for sleep and restlessness. Doctors of other specialty also use these type of drugs for various conditions and psychological problems you might just not be aware of it. You can ask your doctor if the medications you are receiving can cause dependence or not.

Will I be on medications forever?

Not necessarily. It all depends upon the nature of illness and the frequency of episode. Some people don’t have another episode in their life if the first on is treated completely. So, once the symptoms of illness improve, the treatment plan is re-evaluated.

Mental illness cannot be cured?

If we use the strictest definition that cure means the patient will not get the illness again in his/her life, then most of the illnesses do not have a cure. Eg: diabetes, hypertension, neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia etc.
Similarly, patients with psychiatric illness may not any episode their life if the illness is treated promptly and correctly. However, it is difficult to predict whether they would have another episode or not.
One thing which is for sure is that with treatment, quality of life of patients and family members improves a lot.

Medications given by psychiatrist have side effects?

All medications whether allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathic or any other system of medicine have side effects. It is same with psychiatry medication. But it does not mean that you will get them. Most of the side effects are minor and will go with time. Your doctor will enquire about the side effects when you are on medications and will give you solutions if you suffer from the side effects.
You can enquire about the side effect profile of the medications being given by doctor and make an informed choice.

How to get help for patients who do not want to seek help?

This is a problem among many care takers of the patient. It is usually because of reasons like ignorance, stigma related to psychiatric illness, nature of illness and violent behavior. In these cases, family members are aware of the illness and try to contact the doctor. There is no particular way to address this issue and multiple approaches can be used. Some of them are:
A) Bring the patient to the doctor as informant. Eg: Ask patient to accompany a family member to the doctor’s clinic under the impression that family member has wants to seek help and not the patient himself.
B) A person who is closer and has some influence on the patient speak to him/her about illness.
C) Tell patient to give the doctor a chance and then after appointment, decide if he wants to go again or not.
D) If patient feels that he has no problem. This in itself can be a symptom of the illness. In these cases sometimes patient has to be forcibly brought to the doctor.
E) Request a doctor for a home visit.
F) Try for a teleconsultation
G) If all methods fail and the patient is seriously ill then according to law, you can get the patient admitted to a psychiatric hospital against his will also.

When to get patient admitted to a hospital?

Main reasons for patient to be admitted to a hospital are:
1. If patient is suicidal and harmful to himself/herself
2. If patient violent and harmful to others
3. Patient has a poor support system and has no one to take care of himself/herself.
4. Patient needs treatment under a controlled environment.
5. Patient has a very poor support system

Will the psychiatrist ask me about my childhood issues in the first appointment?

Psychiatrist does not ask about childhood issues from every patient. These things are enquired only when it is relevant, i.e. if psychiatrist thinks that your current problem has any connection with your childhood issues.

Are talk therapy useful?

Various kinds of therapies like cognitive behavior therapy, marital therapy, group therapy etc are present. All therapies are good when used by trained therapists.
But for all therapies to work, patient’s willingness is a must. He/she has to follow the instructions of the therapist and provide feedback on the next visit.

When do I need to see a Psychiatrist?

An individual can have various kinds of emotions. He can remain happy, sad, angry, depressed etc depending upon his/her life situation. It is not that normal people cannot be sad. You need to see a psychiatrist when these changes are to such an extent that you are not able to do your daily activities or your social and occupational life is being hampered due to the change in your mental state.

When I share my personal feelings with psychiatrist, won’t I be judged? Will they remain confidential?

No, psychiatrists are trained in such a manner that they empathize with the individual. They try to understand your feelings and then help you to solve your problems. Due to this, they will not judge you for sharing your personal feelings. On the contrary, sharing will help the psychiatrist to better understand your current mental state. And all the things you share remain confidential.

What if my home is very far away from the location of psychiatry services?

In case it is difficult for the client to travel to the location of psychiatry services, he/she can opt for teleconsultation from the psychiatrist.

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