Things To Look For In Psychiatry Near Me & You

By Joanna Smykowski

Updated December 07, 2018

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If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other common mental health conditions, you may be wondering how to find psychiatry near me and you. Finding psychiatry services can be easy or difficult depending on several factors. There are also several things you will want to keep in mind when you are looking for psychiatry near me.

The most important thing to remember when looking for psychiatry services is that this doctor is there to help you. If you don't have a good relationship with your psychiatrist for any reason, they will not be able to help you effectively. Don't be afraid to look at many different psychiatry services before making a decision.

Getting Referrals

Your first step to finding psychiatry services is to get referrals. You could do a basic Google search for "psychiatry near me," but you are much better off getting referrals from your primary care doctor, friends, and family.

Some insurance companies require you to get a referral to a psychiatrist from your primary care doctor for the services to be covered. Check with your insurance company to see if a referral of this type is required. Even if it isn't, getting a referral from your doctor lets you know that the psychiatrist you are about to see is qualified if nothing else.

Getting referrals from friends and family is always a good idea if you don't need a formal referral for insurance purposes. When friends or family refer a psychiatrist, it means that they helped someone you know well enough that they are comfortable sending someone else to see that doctor.

The Psychiatry Shortage

You may discover that you have a difficulty searching for psychiatry near you and me. According to multiple sources, there is a shortage of psychiatry services across the country, particularly in rural areas. You may have difficulty finding services near you.

One option to look into if that happens is telepsychiatry. Studies have shown that telepsychiatry is quite effective and is a good alternative for people who do not have psychiatry services near to them. Telepsychiatry may or may not be covered by insurance, and it may be done in your home or through a local doctor's office.

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Checking Insurance Acceptance And Pricing

The Affordable Care Act requires most group and small private health insurance plans to cover mental health services. If you have a health insurance plan, the chances are that that plan covers mental health services at the same copays as your physical health services.

However, many psychiatrists don't accept health insurance. According to a study by the NIH, only 88 percent of all psychiatrists across the nation accept health insurance. However, in certain areas, it is even less likely that psychiatrists will accept insurance. The percentage of psychiatrists who accept insurance in the Northeast is only 48 percent, the South only 43 percent, and the West 57 percent. The Midwest is the easiest area to get psychiatry near me because 88 percent of psychiatry services accept insurance.

If you live in an area where most of the psychiatrists do not accept health insurance, your next step will be to compare prices. Some psychiatrists may charge quite a bit more than others. Shop around for the best rates so that you don't spend too much on care.

Researching Credentials

Once you find a psychiatrist, you will want to research their credentials. If you got the referral from your primary care doctor, the chances are that the psychiatrist is licensed and board certified. However, if you got the referral from a friend or relative, or especially if you found them online, you'll want to check with the Board of Psychiatry to make sure that they are certified and licensed to practice in your state.

It is unfortunate that anyone can put up a website and slap a title at the end of their name. If you did a basic search for psychiatry near me to find psychiatry services, do your homework and make sure that they are qualified and licensed to practice psychiatry.

The Interview

You should interview any psychiatrist that you are considering seeing for your mental health concerns. Set up an initial appointment and determine if you can work with the doctor before committing to a treatment plan. Most doctors have an intake appointment where they get to know you and your situation, talk about payment options, and lay out a treatment plan.

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Use this intake appointment as a way to interview the psychiatrist and make sure that they are someone you want to work with. You have to get personal with your psychiatrist for services to be effective. It is important that you feel comfortable with this person and believe that they can help you. Otherwise, it may be pointless.

Things To Look For During Treatment

Of course, there is only so much you can tell about a person or doctor from one meeting. You will want to keep an eye out for warning signs and make sure that the doctor can help you as you move forward. Look for these things while you are going through initial treatment. If anything seems off or you don't believe the doctor is right for you, don't hesitate to stop services and find another doctor.

Good Listening and Observation Skills

It is important that your psychiatrist has good listening and observation skills. Being a good listener isn't just about hearing what you have to say. It's about really paying attention and taking what you are telling them into account.

If your psychiatrist isn't a good listener and doesn't notice when you are feeling anxious or depressed, they are not going to be able to treat your condition. Also, if they are not willing to listen to you about your symptoms or side effects from medications, they may not be the best fit for you.

Communication Style

Everyone has a different communication style, and not all communication styles mesh. If you feel that you and your psychiatrist are not communicating well, you may need to look for a different doctor. First, let them know that you are having a difficult time feeling that they are communicating well with you, and give them a chance to make adjustments accordingly.

Willing To Spend Time Educating

It is important that your psychiatrist is willing to spend time educating you and your family about your condition. They should not simply listen to symptoms and prescribe medication. A good psychiatrist will educate you and your family about your symptoms and your diagnosis. They will work with you to develop a treatment plan and educate you on the methods that will be used.

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It is also important that any psychiatrist who is prescribing medications takes the time to educate you about the medication and its potential side effects. Many doctors will simply prescribe medication and leave it up to you to learn about the side effects for yourself. A great doctor will let you know up front what to expect with medication and how long it should be before you start noticing some relief from your symptoms.

Empathy

Empathy is a trait that cannot be taught but is inherent in the person. It is important that your psychiatrist shows empathy for your situation and doesn't dismiss your feelings or emotions. You will be able to get a feeling for whether or not your doctor shows empathy from your first visit.

Breadth Of Knowledge

It is important that your psychiatrist has a broadness of knowledge in different types of mental illness. Many symptoms can be indicators of more than one mental illness or condition. Without a large breadth of knowledge, your doctor may not be able to accurately diagnose and treat you for your problems.

It is also important that your doctor has a breadth of knowledge of different types of therapies and medications. The same treatment does not always work for all patients. The psychiatrist should have a good knowledge of multiple treatments and medications so that they can help you find the right course of action for your unique situation.

Depth Of Knowledge

Having a breadth of knowledge is important, but it is useless without a depth of knowledge. The psychiatrist must be not just familiar with different mental illnesses and treatments, but know and understand the ins and outs of them. He should have a good grasp on most mental health conditions, most treatments, and be able to know when treatment is indicated and when it isn't.

Flexibility In Treatment Options

A good psychiatrist is flexible in offering treatment options, particularly when it comes to medications. It is true that many medications take some time to be effective, sometimes as long as two months before you notice relief of symptoms. However, if you are on treatment for several months with no relief, the psychiatrist should be completely willing to alter the treatment plan and offer different options.

A good psychiatrist will also listen to your opinions on how the treatment is going and whether or not it is helping. They should also be willing to entertain changing treatment if you have side effects from any medications prescribed. If you feel you could be taking less medication, or if there is a medication that you have learned about what you want to try, the doctor should be willing to entertain the idea, and, if not try it, give you reasons why it isn't appropriate.

The Frequency Of Treatment Sessions

It is also important that the psychiatrist offers a reasonable frequency to treatment sessions. A patient who is currently stable and responding well to treatment may be able to go three months between appointments. However, if treatment is just beginning or symptoms are not in remission, the patient should be seen more frequently.

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It should also be easy to get an appointment with your doctor when necessary. Mental illness can be unpredictable. You may be feeling fine at your appointment and make a new appointment for three months out, only to start suffering from severe depression within a couple of weeks. It is important that you can see your doctor frequently during times of crisis.

Don't Be Afraid To Make A Change

If you start seeing a psychiatrist and you are not happy with the treatment for any reason, don't be afraid to make a change to a different doctor. If you are not 100 percent comfortable with your doctor and have complete trust in them to be able to treat your condition, you will not respond well to treatment. Don't feel stuck, but rather do what is best for you and look for another psychiatry near you.

Your Next Steps

If you are suffering from mental health conditions or illness and need help, your next step is to search for psychiatry near you and me. Contacting psychiatry services is simple and will start you on the path to a better you. When you find a therapist or psychiatrist, make sure that you interview them appropriately and that it is a good fit. Then, give them time to offer and administer treatment, which can often take some time.

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