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 lifetime.
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