When people first think of going to a psychiatrist, they might have several preconceived notions, some true and some untrue. ‘Can they truly help?’ is a question that people either demand an answer for or at least have pondered at some point. The answer is that, yes, they have a vital role to play.
The cases of depression in India have skyrocketed during the pandemic period. Many people are struggling to decide whether or not to see a doctor. They reason with themselves about the benefits and grapple with social stigma too. But there is no need to be apprehensive. Read on to find out why.
What Happens On The First Visit:
Most apprehensions and fears will not exist if people have a clear understanding of what transpires in psychiatry. There is a widespread stigma associated with what happens “on the couch.” Movies have reduced counseling sessions to a joke. In reality, they are integral to help someone overcome the problem they are facing.
The psychiatrist will begin by informing the patient of how to share things and that it will all be confidential. Usually, in the initial hours, a bond is developed as they get to know each other. They begin by asking what led them to seek professional help in the first place, as that is the ideal point to start to resolve the issue.
Getting To Know The Person:
The doctor will then proceed by asking questions about the physical and mental health and family history, among other things, to be on track. It is essential to rule out physical illnesses as illnesses like thyroid and infections may also cause mental disorders like depression and anxiety. If that is the case, the patient requires suitable medical intervention.
After the initial visit, the doctor may decide on a specific treatment plan suitable for that patient. As each person is unique and experiences different problems, a tailored treatment plan is necessary.
Their medical history, successful/failed treatments, and type of issue require specialized care. A proper diagnosis goes before developing an effective treatment plan. It is built on the severity of the symptoms that the patients experience.
This method is one of the most common treatments that is done initially for people suffering from depression. There are numerous kinds of therapy. And the type chosen is decided after the evaluation of the patient’s condition.
The psychiatrists provide an empathetic atmosphere where they can discuss any concerns in a non-judgemental, supportive and non-critical environment. It helps people to make their connections and discover solutions.
Some of the commonly used types of psychotherapy include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy, etc.
The psychiatrist plays an instrumental role in giving the diagnosis and designing the appropriate treatment plan.
Behavioural And Lifestyle Changes:
Depression is linked to behavioral changes. One example would be how it leads to social isolation or a decreased motivation to do activities. Therefore, doctors may suggest a change in habits, which encompasses aspects like nutrition, exercise, recreational activities, personal hygiene, etc.
Depression causes a loss of motivation to do things. So identifying the difference and fixing the deficit will go a long way in bettering the conditions. Medical practitioners emphasize the significance of celebrating small accomplishments/ achievements. All these things, when combined, can lift the mood significantly.
Role Of Psychopharmacology:
Most people assume that popping some “pills” will cure depression quickly. But there is more than just that. Patients require proper awareness before they start taking medication. They have to be made aware of the benefits, alternatives, and sometimes even the risks of their treatment.
The doctors work with them to ensure if the medicine is right for them. It is vital to be on the same page, as ultimately it is up to the patient to take medication or not once they leave the office.
Each person’s specific set of symptoms are also necessary to decide the medication. Some of these get better or worse with certain medicines. The doctor works closely with the patients to choose the medication to suit their immediate or personal needs. And during each visit, observations are made to adjust accordingly.
Medication versus Psychotherapy:
Medications for conditions like depressions may take weeks to affect. While they are integral for recovery, other treatment options like psychotherapy are equally important. Lifestyle or behavioral changes coupled with medication can encourage positive results. They also act as a bridge till the medicines start having a full effect.
If the symptoms are severe, it is best to seek professional help than to suffer from it. The sooner one receives help; the sooner one can recover.