Generalists vs Specialists
Most people have a family doctor, or Primary Care Provider (PCP), that they work for regular physicals and commonly occurring medical issues. Family doctors are great for ease of access in that most people can get in within a few days to a week. Family doctors have a broad base of knowledge and are good at narrowing down possible diagnoses and referring to appropriate specialists as needed.
When it comes to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more complicated issues, patients have historically been referred to psychiatrists that specialize in the treatment of mental health. Given the shortage of psychiatrists over at least the last 50 years, many family doctors have had to take on the care and management of patient mental health issues. Although family doctors as a group are doing a great job of managing a large chunk of the mental health issues for the public, there are many times when it makes more sense to see a psychiatrist that specializes.
Greater Medication Options or Negative Side Effects
Most family doctors are comfortable with a handful of psychiatric medications such as several antidepressants. Fortunately, most patients respond well to the common medications. One situation when a person should see a psychiatrist is when they are having bad reactions or negative side effects from the common medications a family doctor might provide. Psychiatrists, because they specialize in mental health and psychiatric medications, are very comfortable and experienced in prescribing dozens of different medication options. A psychiatrist has more knowledge in selecting a medication that can reduce or eliminate side effects for patients. Another situation where it may be beneficial to see a psychiatrist is for more medication options. Some patients may not be having bad side effects, but they are also not getting any benefit or improvement with those common medications. Psychiatrists have greater familiarity with alternate medications, ways to adjust the medications or augment medication for greater effectiveness.
Co-Occurring Mental Health or Medical Issues
Many people struggle with multiple, or co-occurring, mental health issues. Countless people struggle with both depression and anxiety or other diagnoses like ADHD, OCD, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, and so much more. The more mental health issues a patient is dealing with, the more difficult and complicated it is to treat everything effectively. Psychiatrists have great skill and ability to juggle multiple issues with the minimum needed medications.
It can be wise to work with a psychiatrist on more rare and difficult diagnoses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia to name a couple. Most family doctors have little or no experience with classes of medications like mood stabilizers or anti-psychotic medications that are needed to treat these conditions. Psychiatrists have the expertise to manage these more complicated mental health issues with the right medications to successfully help patients get the relief they need so they can function optimally.
Maple Grove Psychiatrists
If feel you need to work with a psychiatrist that specializes, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule an individual consultation with one of our psychiatrists so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.
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