Psychiatrists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions. Their education and clinical training help them understand how medical conditions manifest as psychiatric symptoms and how mental health conditions can affect your body.
There are several psychiatry subspecialties, including:
What mental health conditions do psychiatrists treat?
Psychiatrists treat a broad range of mental health conditions, including:
What treatments and therapies do psychiatrists perform?
Psychiatrists use various treatments to help you manage your mental health condition, including psychotherapy and medications.
Psychotherapy is a treatment that involves establishing a close, talking relationship between you and your therapist. Two examples of psychotherapy include:
Medications are often used in combination with psychotherapy to help you treat your mental health condition. Some examples of medications include:
When should I contact a psychiatrist?
You may want to start a relationship with a mental health provider if you’re experiencing hardship and want help understanding your thoughts and behaviors. A psychiatrist can help if the cause of your mental health condition is unknown or if you have a complex mental health condition that requires medication, including:
It’s important to know that you are not alone. Psychiatrists have the training and expertise to provide you with the resources and care you need.
What should I expect from a psychiatrist appointment?
During your first appointment, your psychiatrist will talk with you about the reason for your visit, including why you think you need therapy. They’ll ask about your symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and what treatment you received in the past, if any. You can expect the conversation to include a discussion about your family, history, work, and other personal matters.
Toward the end of your visit, your psychiatrist will discuss your treatment plan and session frequency, which may include some recommended medications. You may use the end of your appointment as an opportunity to ask your psychiatrist any questions you have about your treatment plan.
What questions should I ask my psychiatrist?
It’s important to show up to your psychiatrist appointment prepared. To help you get started, we’ve created a good list of questions for you to ask:
You may use these questions as a starting point, but feel free to add your own. A good practice is to also ask for additional information and take notes during your appointment.