How to Choose a Psychiatrist

Updated on November 5, 2021

It is not uncommon to feel alone and desperate when looking for a psychiatrist. Thankfully, finding the right psychiatrist can be a painless process. That’s because the process isn’t about finding someone with an impressive resume or who has published in prestigious journals.

It’s about finding someone who understands your needs and personality type and will put in the time to know how you think and what challenges you face daily. That means that if two psychiatrists have similar credentials but seem like they would be more understanding of your situation, consider going with them first; it might make all the difference.

What Is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They use medications and psychotherapy to manage symptoms or provide counseling.

How Do You Receive a Referral?

Many people visit a psychiatrist after finding that their primary care physician isn’t able to help manage their mental illness symptoms.

If you’re uncomfortable talking with your family about finding a psychiatrist, you may be interested in choosing one on your own. If that’s the case, finding one takes time and patience.

You can start by looking through online directories or asking friends for recommendations. You may also ask your primary care doctor (PCP) if they know of any psychiatrists in the area who are accepting new patients. Don’t be afraid to contact more than one psychiatrist. Some psychiatrists work better with certain people than others, so finding the right fit is essential.

What if You Don’t Have Insurance?

If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford to see a psychiatrist, you may be able to visit community mental health clinics that provide treatment at low cost or for free. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) keeps a list of state mental health resources.

Are You Looking For a Subspecialty?

Some psychiatrists focus on certain areas of psychiatry, such as addiction treatment or geriatric psychiatry. If you have more specific needs, finding the right person who specializes in your area of concern can be helpful.

If you want to find a psychiatrist with expertise in finding the proper medication for patients, find an expert in psychopharmacology. If you’re concerned about finding the right therapist, finding someone specializing in psychiatry and neurology or psychiatry and behavioral sciences may be helpful.

Should You Read Online Reviews?

If you’re finding psychiatrist searching difficult, you are not alone. Reviews are helpful, but not all are written by people who have an issue to be diagnosed. Reading reviews of psychiatrists can help you find someone you feel comfortable working with and find someone who has expertise in finding the best medications for your condition. 

As you can see, a psychiatrist may be able to help you if you’re struggling with an emotional or behavioral problem that has been causing setbacks in your life. The process of finding a psychiatrist can seem daunting and confusing, but remember that finding the right mental health professional is crucial in your recovery from depression or any other condition.

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