What can a Psychiatrist do for me?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of mental illness which includies psychological problems. A psychiatrist has completed four years of medical school after college in addition to at least four years of specialty medical training in the field of Psychiatry. Within the profession each psychiatrist has specific areas of interest and specialization but has the skills to provide full treatment from multiple approaches. Many psychiatrists today only provide brief medication management because of insurance restrictions while therapy is provided by a lesser trained provider. I believe this splitting of treatment reduces the quality.
What will happen on my first appointment?
At the first session lasting approximately 45-50 minutes I will take a comprehensive history. This will include current symptoms, past history of symptoms and treatment of mental illness in addition to medical problems, genetic family history of mental illness, your developmental history and do a mental status examination. This will determine diagnosis and determine the best plan of action to move forward. Sometimes complicated histories can take several sessions. Doing this in less time limits information and can lead to an incorrect diagnosis. Diagnosis is the key to treatnent. If the diagnosis is incorrent, treatment will not be optimal. This can cause unnecessary emotional distress and cost time and money.
Will my treatment be kept confidential?
My office will not disclose any information to anyone unless you have authorized me to do so and have signed an Authorization to Release Information form. If you are in danger of harming yourself or others, I am obligated by law to notify the authorities and the person you might harm. This rarely occurs.
How long will my treatment last?
There are no precise determination that I can make regarding the length of your treatment. Certain conditions do not require a lot of time to treat, others considerably more. Certain mental illnesses require just a couple of visits, others require life long maintenance. I will give you my best estimate of treatment length in time per session and frequency of sessions.
What if I have an emergency or an urgent situation come up?
I am available to my patients by phone 24/7 for emergencies. If your emergency requires immediate attention call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.