Psychiatry

 What is a Psychiatrist?
A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health disorders.  A Psychiatrist has completed college, medical school, and an additional 4 years of residency training in Psychiatry; multiple written and oral exams are required to obtain a state license to practice medicine; a written and oral exam is required to become a Board Certified Psychiatrist.
 
What kind of problems can you help with?
Anxiety, Panic attacks, Phobias, Social Anxiety.
Depression, Bipolar, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder),
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder),
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and more.
 
What is Holistic Psychiatry?
  "Holistic" refers to an approach that is based on considering the whole person (body, mind and spirit) throughout the initial evaluation, the diagnosis, and treatment.  Potential treatments are discussed and selected together from a wide range of options to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient.  These include:
Conventional medications that are typically prescribed by psychiatrists such as anti-depressants, as well as appropriate vitamins and supplements.
Conventional therapies that are effective at addressing the issues:  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dynamic Deconstructive Psychotherapy (DDP), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and other techniques.
Complementary approaches are used where appropriate, such as Breathing techniques, Meditation, Light therapy; Manual therapies such as CranioSacral Therapy; and multiple other approaches.
Basic health activities are daily activities that, depending on our choices, either make us healthier or weaker; over time, they have a significant cumulative impact; these include Breathing, Hydration, Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise, Meditation and Reflection.
 
When do you prescribe medications?
  Many psychiatrists only prescribe medications for mental health disorders and do not provide therapy.  My approach usually includes therapy because of its long term effectiveness without the adverse effects of medication.  However, medication can be helpful when a person is feeling so overwhelmed that they cannot function effectively.  When a person starts doing better, then the medication can be very slowly decreased over time.  Ironically, certain medications when overused, can also interfere with the effectiveness of therapy, or can even prevent a person from recovering from their mental health issue.
 
What kinds of medications do you prescribe?
  Conventional medications include the typical medications that have been prescribed by physicians for years.  These include SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft and others that are often prescribed for Anxiety or Depression.  Certain medications that are commonly prescribed for anxiety or panic, such as Xanax, are addictive and may have significant drawbacks; in these kinds of situations, other medications that have fewer adverse effects and other approaches that have no adverse effects such as a specific breathing technique, have been used successfully by many people.
 
What's the point of therapy?
  In general, therapy improves our awareness of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  Next we can learn how to use this increased awareness to understand what our anxiety and emotions are trying to tell us, and how to use this to our advantage in living our life.  The different forms of therapy accomplish this in slightly different ways.
 
Why do Basic Health Activities matter?
Breathing:  too rapid can cause anxiety; too shallow can cause depression.
Hydration:  the body needs adequate water to function properly
Nutrition:  good food supports health; junk food impairs cognitive function and energy; may cause wt gain, diabetes, other issues.
Sleep:  poor sleep worsens depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other disorders.
Exercise:  improves mind and body function
Meditation:  improves internal connectedness
Reflection:  improves your ability to live according to your most important values
Donald Pilch, MD

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