Help! I Think I’m Mentally Ill!

So, you think you may have a mental illness. Time to start the process of getting a doctor. If you’re unsure about whether or not you need a doctor, ask yourself if your mental state is causing you severe pain or problems functioning. If it is, you need a doctor. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist today, even if there is a long waiting list, so that you’ll have an appointment sometime in the hopefully near future.

Now sit down and write out your symptoms. Common symptoms include bad moods, mood swings, depression, hallucinations, anxiety, irritability, engaging in risky behaviors like drug use or unsafe sex, intense sadness, suicidal thoughts, compulsive behaviors, abnormal eating, mania, sleep problems, self-harm or mutilation, or specific troubling fears. Once you’ve written down the symptoms you know you have, try to identify anything that may have triggered the symptom. An example would be Continue reading

Professional Help: The People You Need On Your Team

You have two kinds of professionals that can help you. There are professionals who perform talk therapy and there are professionals who prescribe medicine.

Professionals who do talk therapy include psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, and analysts. They can help you sort out your feelings and find solutions to problem thoughts or behavior.

Professionals who can prescribe medication are doctors (with a few exceptions). Doctors specializing in mental illness are usually psychiatrists. It is important to not confuse a “psychiatrist” (who prescribes medication) with a “psychologist” (who treats patients with psychotherapy) because those are distinctly different professions requiring different degrees of education and employing different strategies for treatment.

Psychiatrists can be either a doctor of medicine (M.D.) or Continue reading