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General Question About Doctor (Psychiatrist)

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2017 at 10:46 PM
  • 12 Replies

I currently see a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.  And I like the Dr. I see but a friend of mine told me something that raises a question about whether or not I should see another Dr to make sure I have the right diagnoses and am taking a medication that will be most beneficial for me.  My friend has depression too and she told me she sees a psychiatrist that did some kind of assesment on her to determine what type of depression she had so the Dr could choose the best medication to treat her depression.  I guess my question is do most psychiatrists just prescribe meds based on symptoms and thier best judgement and trial and error or should I consider changing my doctor to someone who does an assesment to determine what kind of depression I have to find the med that would be most beneficial for me?  I will give you a little background info on me.  I have been treated for depression for 15 years but I always talked to my primary care dr about it and he prescribed my meds for the depression.  Then I started having anxiety and my primary care dr told me to go see a psychiatrist so I have been seeing one for close to two years now.  However I have never been formally tested or had any evaluations done to determine if I have other issues other than depression and anxiety.  With that being said should I go to a psychologist to be formally tested or can the psychiatrist (M.D.) do the testing?  My current Dr has never done any kind of assesment on me I have always just went in and told him my symptoms and the things Im struggling with and he prescribed meds.  I just want to make sure I am on the best medication that will be the most beneficial to me.  When my friend told me her Dr did an assesment on her it made me feel like I should consider changing Drs....I am a bit confused as to what to do ....can anyone give me any insight on this?  Tell me how your psychiatrist works?....do they prescribe on a trial and error basis and based on your symptoms? or do they do a formal assesment ?

by on Nov. 19, 2017 at 10:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Pukalani79
by Ivy on Nov. 20, 2017 at 2:06 AM
Have you seen any benefit from working with your current doctor? If so, I would stay with them. My dds psychiatrist treats her based on her experience and conversations with dds other doctors
NearSeattleMom
by Gold Member on Nov. 20, 2017 at 2:57 AM

My son has generalized anxiety disorder and some depression.  (He's 24.) 

He started seeing a psychologist (at the recommendation of his regular doctor) and the psychologist recommended a psychiatrist.  So now he sees both the pscyhologist and psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist has been trying to find the best meds . . . it's been a lot of trial and error.  I think that's normal.

Quoting TylersMom999:

I currently see a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.  And I like the Dr. I see but a friend of mine told me something that raises a question about whether or not I should see another Dr to make sure I have the right diagnoses and am taking a medication that will be most beneficial for me.  My friend has depression too and she told me she sees a psychiatrist that did some kind of assesment on her to determine what type of depression she had so the Dr could choose the best medication to treat her depression.  I guess my question is do most psychiatrists just prescribe meds based on symptoms and thier best judgement and trial and error or should I consider changing my doctor to someone who does an assesment to determine what kind of depression I have to find the med that would be most beneficial for me?  I will give you a little background info on me.  I have been treated for depression for 15 years but I always talked to my primary care dr about it and he prescribed my meds for the depression.  Then I started having anxiety and my primary care dr told me to go see a psychiatrist so I have been seeing one for close to two years now.  However I have never been formally tested or had any evaluations done to determine if I have other issues other than depression and anxiety.  With that being said should I go to a psychologist to be formally tested or can the psychiatrist (M.D.) do the testing?  My current Dr has never done any kind of assesment on me I have always just went in and told him my symptoms and the things Im struggling with and he prescribed meds.  I just want to make sure I am on the best medication that will be the most beneficial to me.  When my friend told me her Dr did an assesment on her it made me feel like I should consider changing Drs....I am a bit confused as to what to do ....can anyone give me any insight on this?  Tell me how your psychiatrist works?....do they prescribe on a trial and error basis and based on your symptoms? or do they do a formal assesment ?


Serenity7
by Member on Nov. 20, 2017 at 8:12 AM

All Psychiatrist are different.

UntoUs- Linda


lyrick24
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2017 at 2:32 PM
1 mom liked this

you should probably be seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. the therapist will get more into what could be causing your depression, but your psychiatrist will prescribe meds. some meds work different on different people and it is just trial and error.

Iceandsnowflake
by Member on Nov. 21, 2017 at 10:05 AM
I will tell you my story.

For YEARS I thought I had "depression" was put on antidepressants on and off - several different drugs and nothing worked. I felt worse.

I realized I had anxiety - not depression. Panic attacks etc.

Fast forward -

2 family deaths and 5 miscarriages later - I started having daily panic attacks - sometimes multiple times a day. Nocturnal panic attacks, paranoid delusions (thought my neighbor was plotting to kidnap my kids) it was bad.

I Finally found a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with Bipolar and panic disorder.

I'm on a mood stabilizer and klonopin as needed.

Changed my life. The whole time I was getting SSRIs and they were making me worse!

The time I took Prozac I went so manic I was up all night long cleaning my house and talking super fast. It was terrible. Way too stimulating for someone who struggles with manic episodes.

So yes. Make sure you truly have "depression".


Edit to add

My doctor didn't do an assessment (least I don't think he did) he spent a good hour and a half with me the first session and asked a LOT of questions.

But mostly symptoms and trauma stuff. Not "how did that make you feel?" Fluff.

He delved into everything from my sleep, spending, marriage, childhood, it was IN DEPTH.

My psychiatrist merely rxs the medications and checks me every month to see how I'm doing and adjusts the dose accordingly.

If you want talk therapy I think that is psychology or a therapist.

I'm personally not a fan of talk therapy. FOR ME (this me) might help others - it brings stuff up that just upsets me and I left sessions feeling worse and drained.

Quoting TylersMom999:

I currently see a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.  And I like the Dr. I see but a friend of mine told me something that raises a question about whether or not I should see another Dr to make sure I have the right diagnoses and am taking a medication that will be most beneficial for me.  My friend has depression too and she told me she sees a psychiatrist that did some kind of assesment on her to determine what type of depression she had so the Dr could choose the best medication to treat her depression.  I guess my question is do most psychiatrists just prescribe meds based on symptoms and thier best judgement and trial and error or should I consider changing my doctor to someone who does an assesment to determine what kind of depression I have to find the med that would be most beneficial for me?  I will give you a little background info on me.  I have been treated for depression for 15 years but I always talked to my primary care dr about it and he prescribed my meds for the depression.  Then I started having anxiety and my primary care dr told me to go see a psychiatrist so I have been seeing one for close to two years now.  However I have never been formally tested or had any evaluations done to determine if I have other issues other than depression and anxiety.  With that being said should I go to a psychologist to be formally tested or can the psychiatrist (M.D.) do the testing?  My current Dr has never done any kind of assesment on me I have always just went in and told him my symptoms and the things Im struggling with and he prescribed meds.  I just want to make sure I am on the best medication that will be the most beneficial to me.  When my friend told me her Dr did an assesment on her it made me feel like I should consider changing Drs....I am a bit confused as to what to do ....can anyone give me any insight on this?  Tell me how your psychiatrist works?....do they prescribe on a trial and error basis and based on your symptoms? or do they do a formal assesment ?

TylersMom999
by Silver Member on Nov. 21, 2017 at 1:10 PM

Wow thank you for your reply!  It is crucial to get the correct diagnosis in order to get proper treatment.  Sounds like you have a good psychiatrist.

Quoting Iceandsnowflake: I will tell you my story. For YEARS I thought I had "depression" was put on antidepressants on and off - several different drugs and nothing worked. I felt worse. I realized I had anxiety - not depression. Panic attacks etc. Fast forward - 2 family deaths and 5 miscarriages later - I started having daily panic attacks - sometimes multiple times a day. Nocturnal panic attacks, paranoid delusions (thought my neighbor was plotting to kidnap my kids) it was bad. I Finally found a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with Bipolar and panic disorder. I'm on a mood stabilizer and klonopin as needed. Changed my life. The whole time I was getting SSRIs and they were making me worse! The time I took Prozac I went so manic I was up all night long cleaning my house and talking super fast. It was terrible. Way too stimulating for someone who struggles with manic episodes. So yes. Make sure you truly have "depression". Edit to add My doctor didn't do an assessment (least I don't think he did) he spent a good hour and a half with me the first session and asked a LOT of questions. But mostly symptoms and trauma stuff. Not "how did that make you feel?" Fluff. He delved into everything from my sleep, spending, marriage, childhood, it was IN DEPTH. My psychiatrist merely rxs the medications and checks me every month to see how I'm doing and adjusts the dose accordingly. If you want talk therapy I think that is psychology or a therapist. I'm personally not a fan of talk therapy. FOR ME (this me) might help others - it brings stuff up that just upsets me and I left sessions feeling worse and drained.
Quoting TylersMom999:

I currently see a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.  And I like the Dr. I see but a friend of mine told me something that raises a question about whether or not I should see another Dr to make sure I have the right diagnoses and am taking a medication that will be most beneficial for me.  My friend has depression too and she told me she sees a psychiatrist that did some kind of assesment on her to determine what type of depression she had so the Dr could choose the best medication to treat her depression.  I guess my question is do most psychiatrists just prescribe meds based on symptoms and thier best judgement and trial and error or should I consider changing my doctor to someone who does an assesment to determine what kind of depression I have to find the med that would be most beneficial for me?  I will give you a little background info on me.  I have been treated for depression for 15 years but I always talked to my primary care dr about it and he prescribed my meds for the depression.  Then I started having anxiety and my primary care dr told me to go see a psychiatrist so I have been seeing one for close to two years now.  However I have never been formally tested or had any evaluations done to determine if I have other issues other than depression and anxiety.  With that being said should I go to a psychologist to be formally tested or can the psychiatrist (M.D.) do the testing?  My current Dr has never done any kind of assesment on me I have always just went in and told him my symptoms and the things Im struggling with and he prescribed meds.  I just want to make sure I am on the best medication that will be the most beneficial to me.  When my friend told me her Dr did an assesment on her it made me feel like I should consider changing Drs....I am a bit confused as to what to do ....can anyone give me any insight on this?  Tell me how your psychiatrist works?....do they prescribe on a trial and error basis and based on your symptoms? or do they do a formal assesment ?


emarin77
by Silver Member on Nov. 21, 2017 at 8:21 PM

Psychiatrists are specialists in their field,; psychological disorders.

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Nov. 21, 2017 at 8:55 PM

The testing that your friend is talking about is probably a questionnaire.  Ask her specifically what kind of testing she is talking about.  Depression and anxiety can have a physical cause.  Low thyroid, low vitamin d can cause depression.  Anxiety can be caused by a metabolical defect called pyroluria that cause a build up of copper and a deficiency in zinc and B6 and leads to a number of symptoms that not only mimic other disorders like adhd, bipolar, anxiety and depression.  Most insurance companies don't do the pryoluria test properly, so if you want to persue that testing to determine if that's the issue with you, it'll be an out of pocket expense, but it's not horrible.  I had my daughter tested.  She turned out to have high normal levels of pyroluria. 

Iceandsnowflake
by Member on Nov. 23, 2017 at 8:42 AM
I agree with this. I would side eye any psychiatrist that isn't following you with labs.

I have to give mine bloodwork every month. Checks everything down to my liver enzyme levels.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

The testing that your friend is talking about is probably a questionnaire.  Ask her specifically what kind of testing she is talking about.  Depression and anxiety can have a physical cause.  Low thyroid, low vitamin d can cause depression.  Anxiety can be caused by a metabolical defect called pyroluria that cause a build up of copper and a deficiency in zinc and B6 and leads to a number of symptoms that not only mimic other disorders like adhd, bipolar, anxiety and depression.  Most insurance companies don't do the pryoluria test properly, so if you want to persue that testing to determine if that's the issue with you, it'll be an out of pocket expense, but it's not horrible.  I had my daughter tested.  She turned out to have high normal levels of pyroluria. 

MusherMaggie
by Silver Member on Nov. 23, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Your own doctor may have assessed you and you didn't realize that's what was going on. Ask him about it.
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