Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is medical doctor who is specially trained to diagnose
and treat mental and emotional illnesses.
2. How do I know if I need a psychiatrist?
If you are having difficulty functioning in your daily life, and feel
nervous or unhappy most of the time, then you should be evaluated.
This means that if you cannot perform your usual tasks at work or
school, or your relationships are falling apart, you cannot eat or sleep
well, or you have thoughts about dying frequently, you should seek
help. Some people try to deal with these problems by using drugs or
overeating, but it would be better to seek professional help before
things get completely out of control.
3. What if I really don’t want to be on medication?
The decision about whether to take medications or not is a very
personal one. Dr. Peters will educate you about your diagnosis and
make treatment recommendations that include a discussion about
the risks and benefits of treatment or lack of treatment. You can also
discuss the treatment alternatives. Be aware that some disorders
have a strong biological basis (chemical imbalance), so that
medications are the most effective way to treat them. However, in
certain other situations, it may be possible to try only a course of
therapy before resorting to medications as well.
4. How long will treatment need to last?
The length of a course of treatment is variable. For certain issues, a
brief course of therapy (6 - 8 sessions) is all that is required to help
people function well again. For others, a longer period of therapy will
be required. The same may be true in some situations for
medications, but there are some conditions that will require
treatments with medications for at least a year, and possibly a
5. How do I know if my child needs a psychiatric evaluation/treatment?
- Poor school performance
- Inability to form friendships
- Physical aggression
- Cutting/burning themselves
- Talking about wanting to die/kill themselves
- Suspected drug use
- Preoccupation with weight issues
- Poor self-esteem