Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. When you have a mental illness that requires medication, you'll see a psychiatrist who can diagnose you and get you started on the right medication. Some psychiatrists also work as counselors. There are many benefits to seeing a psychiatric professional who also offers counseling. Here are four reasons to choose a mental health care professional who offers services as a psychiatrist counselor:
1. Schedule fewer doctor's appointments.
Patients who see different doctors for counseling and medication management must juggle more doctor's appointments. Keeping your appointments straight can be a hassle, and most people don't want to spend their limited time outside of work driving to multiple doctors' offices. When you see a psychiatrist who offers counseling, you can attend fewer doctor's appointments each month. Weekly or biweekly appointments will allow you to receive the therapy you need while staying on top of your medication regimen.
2. Find synergy between medication and therapy.
Medication and therapy work best when used together. Medication can lessen the severity of your mental illness symptoms, but most people also require therapy to unlearn maladaptive coping mechanisms and deal with trauma. Seeing a single provider who offers medication management and counseling will allow you to take advantage of both. Your psychiatrist can help you explore your feelings about anything in your life that causes you concern. If you have reservations about using medication, you can discuss those feelings in therapy as well.
3. Discuss medication side effects as they occur.
It's common for psychiatric drugs to cause side effects in some patients. Many of these side effects lessen over time, but some side effects can be persistent. Patients may experience a decrease in libido, weight gain or weight loss, mood swings, tiredness, and other symptoms. You should always discuss your side effects with your psychiatrist because they may mean that you're not taking the right medication. Seeing a psychiatrist as your counselor means that you will see your doctor frequently. This will allow you to bring up any troublesome symptoms as they arise so they can be dealt with swiftly.
4. Trust in your psychiatrist's expertise.
Some people feel the most comfortable when speaking to a counselor with extensive medical training. Psychiatrists have gone through extensive schooling to be able to practice medicine. When seeing a psychiatrist counselor, you can rest assured that any advice they offer you comes from a place of deep learning and familiarity with mental health.