Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

psychiatrist or therapist

Posted In: Mental conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: 1koolteacher
  • July 9, 2008
  • 01:53 PM

i am new to the psychiatry field as i have not had any mental issues in my family except for one aunt who suffers from some mild depression (i didn't even know she suffered until my mom told me when i was an adult) so i am wondering if anyone can help me out...any help will be much appreciated!

i am inquiring about my 11 year old daughter who is having some depression, mood, anxiety, eating issues. All of this has came after she has had some stomach tics and weight loss. We (docs and parents) are still trying to figure out if all is related or what exactly is going on. My question is What is the difference between a psychiatrist and therapist. I think pscyh are MDs who prescribe meds and thera are Phd who dont prescribe meds but what else?? I started first taking her to psych to deal with everything as recommended by another doc and i thought my daughter would get some therapy and get to "talk" to someone who is trained in this area. However, first visit we were there for 3 hours and the pscyh talked a lot about family history and things going on (i know this is important too but when will the therapy start i am thinking), next visit almost the whole hour talking about Prozac pro and cons of it again not much therapy, right? i ask about the therapy and she says yes we will put her on the list (find out weeks later the list is pretty long and i called another therapist). i guess the next visit, there was some therapy done with the pscyh because she did talk with my daughter alone for a little while. all of these appts are like 2-3weeks apart. now we have been to the therapist a few times, she seems she wants to meet once a week so far. boy, does that one hour go by fast and it is expensive!!

am i doing the right thing? would it be better to have the pscy and thera in the same office? to me it seems it would but does that matter?
again any help/advice would be great and i can give more info if anyone needs it to answer my question! thanks in advance!

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  • THERAPISTS: It depends to a certain extent on what your tentative diagnosis is: people with Borderline Personality Disorder, for example, need to be challenged from time to time, by therapists using DBT. A good therapist will get you to examine the appropriateness of your actions, or thought patterns, and offer the occasional suggestion. Some therapists, however, work from an "I know best" basis, and, even though they may actually do know best, their approach often isn't as conducive to progress as others, who take more of a middle position. On the other hand, there are those who try to be your friend, when what you really need is expert help. I suggest that you try at least 3 new therapists, and initially select one you feel most comfortable with, because a good degree of rapport (which takes time to build) can help a lot, with therapy. Use the locators, in section 1, at http://www.ezy-build.net.nz/~shaneris and phone book. Personally, I'd opt for a psychologist who believes in only recommending minimal necessary medication, if at all, because they don't issue prescriptions, so are considerably less likely to be involved with the rewards, and inducements offered by sales reps from "big pharma": the large drug companies, to psychiatrists (there are links to, or articles on how psychiatry has become corrupted by money from drug companies, and "how doctors are being manipulated", in section 1: worth reading! It's important to not only feel comfortable with your therapist, but also to know about their qualifications, and the type of therapy used (read section 1). Some people are in therapy for many years, and pay a small fortune in fees, so recognise that therapists may have a vested interest in keeping their patients coming back. It pays the rent, and permits them to feel that they are fulfilling a useful function in life. For this reason, I believe that, unless there is a need for a specific type of therapy, such as Dialectical Behavio(u)ral Therapy, for Borderline Personality Disorder, or EMDR therapy, for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or ongoing support, in the case of people with bipolar disorder, who find they function best this way, it is a good idea to start out with a psychologist who uses Cognitive Behavio(u)ral Therapy. It often can accomplish all it is capable of, in 6 months, and to fix that time limit in the first session. In that way, the therapist knows that there is only a limited window of opportuntiy to do what they can, and there is no unconscious motivation to attempt to draw things out. If, at the end of that time, you believe you could benefit from a little more therapy, then you can extend it, but I'd advise the therapist a few weeks before the final session, in case they are considering taking on a new patient, leaving you "high, and dry" committed, and without options, except to find someone else. Learn to assess, and rate your therapist, after a while: sometimes it's better to move on, and find someone who you feel can help you more, but not if you've just reached an unpleasant part of the therapy, which part of you would rather avoid. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, anorexia, and bulimia are addressed in sections 2, (view page R first) 6, (see page N first) 56, 44, and 39, at ezy build. Why is she losing weight? Ask her if she thinks she needs to lose weight. Study the signs of secret bulimia (vomiting, after eating). These disorders are becoming increasingly common, with up to 25% of girls in some schools being affected, so be on the lookout, but it may just be depression related weight loss. A previous post follows: Ask yourself: "Why do I feel depressed, and when did I first start to feel this way: can I associate this with any recent change in my life?" (if so, it is probably situational depression: counselling, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is indicated). Or, was it a more gradual thing, with no apparent cause? (nutritional deficiencies, hypothyroidism, environmental toxicity, or reactions to some medications, etc., becomes more likely as the cause).Depression: I KNOW, from experience, how difficult it is, but once you drag yourself out of bed, throw on a dressing gown, and have a little time in the morning light, preferably doing easy stretching exercises, then have a shower, a cuppa, and either fish, or scrambled eggs, and possibly bacon for breakfast. Splash cold water on your face, to revive you, as needed. No daytime sleeping; only 8 - 9 hrs at night. Overall though, low to moderate levels of protein suit most people best, with considerably more of the complex carbohydrates, preferably from wholefoods, and a smaller amount of fat, or oil.Antidepressants work quicker than the following; 2 - 6 weeks, but you may have to adjust dosage, or types, whereas St. John's wort is effective for most people, tolerance doesn't develop, and the few side effects don't occur often, and even then are normally not severe. It doesn't cause sleeping problems, or weight change, but usually takes at least 2, and generally 4 - 6 weeks to become effective. A recent, independent German double blind study showed it to be as effective as Sertraline (marketed in the USA as Zoloft: a commonly prescribed antidepressant) in cases of major depression, with far fewer side effects, and those were generally better tolerated, with a lower rate of discontinuation. Remember back to a time when life was full of promise, or a day when you felt particularly good, or possibly excited from a good result. A multidimensional approach to treating depression without medication follows. All except for no. (7.) are safe to use with medication, but not St. John's wort, because of interactions, and it's sensible to check out anything else first with your doctor. (1.) Take 4 Omega 3 fish oil supplements, daily: (certified free of mercury) it is best if consumed with an antioxidant, such as an orange, or grapefruit, or their FRESHLY SQUEEZED juice. If vitamin E is added, it should be certified as being 100% from natural sources, or it may be synthetic: avoid it. Also take a vitamin B complex which is certified as being 100% of natural origin; a deficiency in vitamin B9 (folic acid, or folate) is known to cause depression. Around 30% - 40% of depressed people have low vitamin B12 levels. Depressed females using the contraceptive pill may benefit from vitamin B6 supplements. (2.) Work up slowly to at least 20 minutes minutes of exercise, daily, or 30 - 60 mns, 5 times weekly. Too much exercise can cause stress, which isn't wanted when dealing with depression. (3.) Occupational therapy (keeping busy allows little time for unproductive introspection, and keeps mental activity out of less desirable areas of the brain). (4.) Use daily, one of the relaxation methods in sections 2, 2.c, 2.i, or 11, and/or yoga, Tai Chi, and/or the EFT, in sections 2.q, 2.o, and section 53, at http://www.ezy-build.net.nz/~shaneris whichever works best for you. (5.) Initially, at least, some form of counselling, preferably either Cognitive Behavio(u)ral Therapy, or Rational Emotive Behavio(u)ral Therapy. (6.) Maintain a mood chart, and daily activities schedule, as per page R, in section 2, at ezy build. (7.) As options, if desired, either a known, effective herbal remedy, such as St. John's wort, (the strength varies, but the supplier should be using a standardised hypericin content, so follow the directions) or supplements, such as SAMe, or Inositol (from vitamin and health food stores, some supermarkets, or mail order: view section 55). If 5HTP is used to boost serotonin levels, (which are low in depressed people) it is best taken with a high carbohydrate, minimal protein meal, like pasta with tomato & basil, and avoid protein for 90 minutes, before, and after, to maximise the amount crossing the blood/brain barrier. Try to imagine, as vividly as possible, a time in the not too distant future, when you have overcome this temporary setback, and things are much better.
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