|Posted on January 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I trust that everything I say to you stays between you and me?
Mostly yes, EXCEPT in instances where you are an imminent danger to yourself, a danger to someone else, or are expressly unable to care for yourself anymore due to your psychiatric illness. In those instances I am legally obligated to breach confidentiality to protect you, the person you intend to harm or people that surround you. We keep notes like all other medical provider but they are completely confidential and mostly done for insurance purpose.
If you have so many patients, how do I know I will receive a care that is individually for me?
The training in this field teaches us to multitask. We look at each individual person and their experience, don’t associate them with a particular diagnosis and disease. In my case I give the same empathy, attention, thought, equivalent place value on each and every interaction. If at any point you feel that the provider might not be listening to you; is ok to express you feeling to make sure both parties are in the same page.
Are you willing to push medication on me?
In the case a patient is referred to me for posible medication it will present as a medication evaluation. The word evaluation means that I will ask many questions and try to collect as much information possible such as family history, social history, hospitalizations, previous diagnosis/treatment plans and any adverse reaction to posible medicine in the past just to name a few f the questions. If I think the medication will benefit you I will present my case to you as well as alternatives that don’t involve medication. It is ultimately your choice and I’m just here to present what is the best and help you the most.
Will I be on the medication forever?
The time length a patient is on a medication mainly depends on the type of diagnosis. For example, a patient with schizophrenia will generally require a long-term treatment plan that the patient will tolerate well, benefits outweigh risk and will prevent a relapse of the symptoms. We might have patient that have a experienced a depression episode for the first time in the life and will only require 6 month of medicine; will try to come off the medication with my guidance/monitoring only.
How do I know your advice is good enough that I should take it?
Providers are not technically considered advice-givers. Think of us as tool-givers to help you identify existing strengths within you, but you will actually do most of the work. Consider the clinic as a safe place and a work shop where you can work through things you have been struggling by trying different tools and see which one works best for you. Is completely normal and acceptable for patients to gut check your experience on the internet; let me warn you that there are far too many pages with false information that is misleading. The best way to clarify concern or question is to ask providers directly.
If I’m being prescribed medication, do I need to have therapy as well?
Unfortunately, there is no magical drug that will make disappear instantly things you have been struggling to work with. For example, antidepressant medication can take on average 6 week to start noticing their effects. Also, studies suggest the the combination of medication + therapy is more effective than medication alone. Therapy is directed and tailored to the diagnosis that the patient and their preference. For example, a patient with OCD will have an exposure response prevention.
If I see you in the mall or a public space what should I do?
If by any chance I see one of my patients we typically don’t acknowledge each other. I make sure to talk with my patients in the first visit that if that happens I will not wave, call their name or have any type of conversation. There is a stigma of mental health providers that everyone who visit one is severely mentally ill that is required to be hospitalized. I wouldn’t ever put any of my patients in that position in such a complicated society. Also, mental health providers understand that the information that has been discussed in the visits will make patient feel vulnerable if their provider acknowledge them in public. Is very important to discuss with your mental health provider the possible scenario.
What should I do if I don’t like you as a provider, I am obligated to stay with you?
If there are other options accessible to you I would encourage to search for a provider if you feel you are not connecting with me. Studies suggest the Therapist-Provider relationship is essential for positive outcomes in the treatment. The first few visits are designed to establish patient-provider relationship and also for data collection.
Why I wake up of a dream screaming and recall details sometimes I don’t recall?
Recurrent frightening dreams during the 2nd half of the sleep cycle (usually during the middle of the night or early morning). Patients will remember the dream after awakening. It will cause functional impairment or distress. The treatment is reassurance if mild. If it is associated with PTSD an antidepressant or prazosin will be very helpful.
Sleep terror disorder:
Presents with recurrent screaming/crying suddenly upon awakening. This will usually take place during the first part of the night. Patient will experience increase heart rate, rapid breathing, and excessive sweating during episodes. Patient wont recall details of the dream. Treatment is education, reassurance and removal of dangerous object in the room.
Can you hospitalize me against my will?
If a patient is an active psychiatric episode and presents imminent harms to self or another person, then a health care provider can initiate the process of involuntary hospitalization. The criteria will vary by state and can range from not being able to care for her/himself to hurting him/herself. Patient will not be forced to undergo treatment for their mental illness, except for those required on an emergency basis. Being hospitalized should not be seen as a punishment, rather should be consideration and commitment for the patients safety and well-being.
|Posted on January 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
10 myths about psych/mental heal debunked
Let us talk about our pick on 10 common myths around mental health heal that can or have generated the wrong perception about our mental health. Before going ahead, I would also like to add that during these COVID times, it is essential to understand that many mental health issues will likely keep rising more due to economic, health and social problems and we need to have a clear understanding that our mind works like our body: Some wounds heal completely and others may vary depending on the severity, but with help… things may work for the better. Now let us proceed to debunk myths!
• Myth: Mental health issues will not affect me or are rare.
-Fact: They are actually quite common and may affect you without knowing it. The government published a study that shows about 1 in every 5 American adults will experience a mental health issue, at some point in their lives. Children are not immune to them, either, as 1 in 10 young people have experienced depression and about 1 in 25 have lived with another serious mental illness. Just consider that SUICIDE is the 10th leading cause death in the USA. That is far more than homicides each year. Remember: mental issues are not always visible, or easy to spot.
• Myth: There is no hope for people who develop mental disorders as they will never recover.
Fact: Even as a student (everyone in the medical field is technically a student forever) we have already seen people recover from mental illness. Studies have shown that most people do get better, or make a full recovery and can function very well in society. With the appropriate treatments, services and support, recovery, or improvement in quality of life can occur.
• Myth: I can take a pill and not waste time with therapy and self-help.
Fact: Everyone is different and requires treatment according to their needs. Whether it is psychotherapy, medication, or both, varies per person, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
• Myth Mental health disorders are often life-long and difficult to treat
Fact: Not true, as always it varies per person and needs. Some disorders require medications for a period of under a year and some may be extended. Some medications can trigger withdrawal symptoms that can be worse that the original problem. It is important to discuss these issues with your doctor before being placed on a medication for a mental disorder and plan the length of time and tapering of the medication and also discuss therapies available.
• Myth: I can handle my own health problems, and if I can’t ,then I am weak.
Fact: People may have mild mental problems, but do not seek help for it as they have used traditional coping mechanisms (exercise, balanced diet, work, self-help, family/friend time, etc) and can continue with their normal life. Many problems can be mild and be easily solved by these traditional mechanisms.
But when your coping mechanisms are not enough to solve your problems or that your problems overwhelm your coping efforts that is when help is required. This is when your problems do not allow or limit you from doing your regular daily activities. We need to accept our human limitations and seek help when our coping skills are not enough for our problems. It is always better to treat early our problems early rather than later as they may get worse untreated. Just the act of seeking help proves you are not weak.
• Myth: Mental health problem are purely biological or genetic in nature.
Fact: Biological and genetic factors can influence but do not tell the whole picture. Your interaction with the environment and other biological factors can influence the way our mind works. Some mental health diseases can have genetic predisposition but might not necessarily mean you will manifest it.
• Myth: Mental illness can be treated by a preferred medical doctor (primary care physician)
Fact: They can help you with the treatment, but they generally do not have the vast experience as a specialist in the mental health care such as a psychiatrist or psychologist that can provide superior care in this area. This is why in medicine there are many specialties, to address specific issues and needs with the correct treatment and medications.
• Myth: Psychiatry only involves crazy people
Fact: Not necessarily, many patients have other illnesses that are not related to mental health and after correcting the problem or imbalance, they improve. Most patients have a mental illness as a side effect of another health condition.
• Myth: Psychiatrists don’t offer “talk therapy”
Fact: This is a common effective treatment used by psychiatrists. It is used alone or accompanied by other forms of treatments and therapy. Feel free to talk to them, they are there for you.
• Myth: Prevention does not work. Mental illnesses cannot be prevented.
Fact: Prevention is key, focusing on addressing risk factors that can affect the chances that young children or adults develop mental health problems can help to lead a healthier life. Promoting socio-emotional wellbeing in the youth leads to better productivity, lower crime, more success academically and economically, better lifespan and better quality of life.
|Posted on January 4, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
|Posted on December 15, 2020 at 9:00 AM|