Dr. Ankur Saraiya talks about how to determine if you need a psychiatrist.
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The idea of when does it make sense to see a psychiatrist is a complicated one, but I would say that for anybody who's reached an extreme of their symptoms, the answer to that question is obvious. So really the question is for anybody's who's on the borderline. They're having symptoms but they're not that disruptive. And my advice to these people would be to go ahead and consider having an evaluation with the psychiatrist because the evaluation is a chance to look at your symptoms and to see what treatments are available and then make a separate decision as to whether to initiate treatment. The other subset of people that I think should see a psychiatrist are anybody who's been given psychiatric medication. And the reason that this is so important is it was recently reported that over three quarters of anti-depressant medication prescriptions are written by non psychiatrists. So most people who are on medication for psychiatric issues have never seen a psychiatrist and unfortunately these non psychiatric doctors just don't have the time and expertise to know enough about the medications to be able to warn patients about side effects or any new developments associated with the medications. So I would say anybody who's been given a prescription for psychiatric medication should certainly have an evaluation with a psychiatrist and then the other group are anybody who's considering the possibility that maybe they need help, I would say go ahead and say go ahead and have an evaluation because then you can make an informative decision about whether it makes sense to start any treatment.
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