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Important Things to Consider When Looking for Psychiatric Care

When you or a family member is struggling with the signs and symptoms of a psychiatric problem or disorder, you’ll feel the compulsion to find professional help because you (or your loved one) want to feel better. Asking people for a referral is not something that’s easy to do; knowing what to look for is something you would want to do yourself.

 

The Personal Attributes to Look For

Your ability to trust your psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse has much to do with the “chemistry” between you and your practitioner. Some important traits you will likely observe even during the first session are their ability to listen well, which is necessary to be able to make an infallible assessment of your problem, and their compassion and empathy for your plight.

If the practitioner fails to manifest these qualities, it will be hard for you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. They must also exude a nonjudgmental stance and a logical firmness, considering the limitations surrounding your case and their time spent with you.

 

Their Experience and Clinical Mastery

 While their personal traits are undeniably relevant in creating the right ambiance for healing and recovery to take place, equally important is the clinical training, experience and mastery of the psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse. One important factor to consider when you choose a practitioner is their breadth and depth of knowledge.

Practitioners will most definitely encounter significant overlapping symptoms that will pose challenges in making accurate, reliable psychiatric diagnoses. The right psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner can be trusted to consider wide-ranging diagnostic possibilities before making a conclusion. You can also trust them to be competent and knowledgeable of all the pertinent things there is to know about your case if they choose to treat you.

 

Their Professional Traits

 The right practitioner would have the professional ethics to spend enough time to educate you and/or your family. A diagnosis may be provisional and is subject to reconsideration in the light of new and additional bases. A professional and humble practitioner is broad minded and accepts the possibility that not every treatment will work as expected.

In the midst of so many practicing psychiatrists or psychiatric nurses, how would you know who would be the right fit for you? There are really no hard and fast answers to your question, but one great place where you can find them are those clinics that come with a good reputation.  Call us at Living Well Psychiatry in Fayetteville, NC on Raeford Road where you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for: humble and proficient practitioners.

Call now for an appointment!! 910-748-0261
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What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?

When your child is diagnosed with ADHD by a psychiatrist, and ADD by a GP, what is the difference? Why are the medications just the same?

 

There is no difference between ADHD (attention-deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). ADD was the outdated term up until 1987 when the word “hyperactivity” word was added to it to become ADHD.  This is the most fundamental reason why the medications used to treat the former are just the same as the ones used to treat the latter.  Stimulants are widely used to elicit positive effects in the majority of children/persons affected with ADHD.  ** Please note that many still refer to ADD with the meaning that there is no “hyperactivity” involved.

 

The Controversy

ADHD has three types: 1) Inattentive; 2) Hyperactive-Impulsive; and 3) Combined. Those who have the inattentive type generally manifest signs of easy distractibility or inattention, but they aren’t impulsive or hyperactive (previously referred to as ADD).  Conversely, the second type has symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity, but not easy distractibility or inattention. Children/Persons with the third type exhibit all symptoms – inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

The question is: Should a child/person with symptoms of inattention be classified as ADHD, even when there are no symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and when being inattentive isn’t a learning disability?  This is what is a hot topic.

 

The Logic

According to Dr. David Anderson, ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center Senior Director, Child Mind Institute,” The newest way of thinking about ADHD is actually to get rid of types altogether and just think about which symptoms present prominently. We still use the same clusters of symptoms (inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive), we just don’t consider them separate types…”

This means that the diagnosis of ADHD can still be used even when the patient does not exhibit the symptoms of impulsivity or hyperactivity. This may sound confusing, but this will be useful when providing professional assistance to children who are often overlooked because they are not catching attention having no impulsivity or hyperactivity symptoms.

 

Now What?

What’s with the nomenclature? Anderson says, the medical jargon ADHD will now be reflected or used in every new research pertaining to the condition, even on how the symptoms persist in adolescence or adulthood. This means that if you are interested in following ADHD research, you better get used to “ADHD” and not ADD.

Knowing the difference would be useful, but it won’t help you or your child overcome the condition. If the symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity, or both are making life difficult, medication can help. If you need help, visit or call Living Well Psychiatry at Raeford Road in Fayetteville, NC. The resident psychiatrist will not just enlighten you about the condition; they can find ways to help you or your child improve your functionality as well.

Call Now! 910-748-0261

Signs on a walking trail

Is it Time to see a Psychiatrist ? Signs to Watch For

 

When the symptoms of a psychiatric condition have already affected your daily functioning, have drastically diminished the quality of your life, or they are getting worse – it is now something you can’t “sweep under the rug” anymore.

Here are some telltale signs and symptoms you already need the help of a good Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner:

  • Harboring ideas about self-harm or harming others. This is the most urgent reason to see a psychiatrist. It is not healthy, safe or normal to think of self-harm or committing violence to hurt other people; this can be an indication of an underlying psychiatric condition. To prevent you or a family member from doing anyone harm and to understand what’s causing the thought if violence, it is best to see a psychiatrist right away so a diagnostic assessment can be immediately done.
  • Delusions and hallucinations. Delusion is based on an incorrect belief. Meanwhile, hallucination is a result of a distorted way of perceiving something while you are conscious. Hallucination can make you hear voices, see visions, or smell, taste and feel something when the stimulus can’t produce such kind of perception. When you seem like you are not sure what’s real, see a psychiatrist.
  • Changes in moods and behavior. If you or the people around you notice a significant change in your behavior, consider seeing a psychiatrist. Maybe these are just the start; soon you may notice a cascading of manifestations that may include mood instability, social isolation, or even violence. Responding to your noticeable irritability, mood swings and low frustration tolerance may be indicative of a psychiatric condition. Seeing a psychiatrist may help prevent your condition from getting worse.
  • Worsening cognitive decline. Forgetting and misplacing things are normal, but not when it has become too frequent. If being forgetful is getting a lot worse, seek the help of a psychiatrist. While it can possibly be a symptom of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it can also be associated with a psychiatric condition, especially if observed along with some other signs and symptoms.
  • Weight issues associated with an eating issue. With so many social motivations to desire an ideal weight, a lot of people are experiencing eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. If any of these is making your weight management more complicated or it has already caused you to have body image issues or poor self-esteem, seeing a psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner for assistance can help.
  • Visit to a therapist or to a primary care doctor isn’t helping. If you have opted to see a counselor/therapist or a primary care doctor for your treatment, yet you continue to manifest overwhelming symptoms of a psychiatric condition, consider consulting a psychiatrist in addition to continuing your therapy. Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are the best professionals to approach if your condition would require treatment utilizing psychotropic medicines.

 

Remember that psychiatrists are doctors trained to treat psychiatric conditions using psychotropic medications. Professionals, such as social workers and psychologists are practitioners who help manage cases with therapy, or without the need for medications. While primary care doctors are becoming the “first-line” of professionals to approach because of their ubiquitous number, they don’t have in-depth training in the use of psychotropic medicines.

If you need an expert who can help with psychotropic meds, look no further. Call Living Well Psychiatry, Raeford Road in Fayetteville, NC. Living Well Psychiatry is located near the new VA Hospital on Raeford Road.

 

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When to Bring Your Child to a Psychiatrist*: Know the Signs

 *Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners prescribe psychotropic medication – also known as “medication management”.

Like an adult, children may also develop psychiatric conditions. While it is something that you wouldn’t dream of happening to your own child, it is a reality you must accept to focus on the issues, possibly affecting your child, their quality of life and their future.

In most cases where medication is needed, symptoms can be intense and often do not respond to other types of interventions, such as therapy, behavioral modification, etc.  Medication management is often beneficial when used in conjunction with child therapy and family therapy.

  While you know your child best, you may need the proficiency of a psychiatrist to decide if your child needs psychiatric help.

 

What the Symptoms May Indicate

Many children won’t tell you they have concerns; it is usually up to the grown-ups to recognize symptoms that may indicate a problem.  Knowing the signs of the common conditions affecting children is important, but more critical is your knowledge of your child. What others may consider as red flags may actually be a normal “acting out” or “seeking attention” behaviors for your child. However, if your child has severe symptoms that affect his/her daily life, it is best to have an evaluation.

Being familiar with your child’s behavior is critical to observe subtle or significant changes. Asking other family members and their school mentors may help you validate your observations. Because you know your child well, trust your instinct. Bring your child for psychiatric evaluation once you have that slightest suspicion. Don’t let other concerns stand in the way, the sooner the better.

 

How a Psychiatrist Can Help

There are several reasons why your child would benefit from the care of a qualified psychiatrist. The most important would be because your child’s symptoms are intense and/or triggered by a chemical imbalance, and may thus require medication. If the cause of the condition is chemical imbalance, your child would benefit from medications specifically designed to address specific symptoms that may interfere with your child’s daily functioning.

While a family doctor/general practitioner can prescribe psychotropic drugs , it is best that your child goes through a proper psychiatric evaluation in the hands of a trained, licensed psychiatrist first. A proficient psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner would be knowledgeable about the most recent trends in psychotropic medication, and what can be most helpful for your child.

 

Dreaming and Living the Chance to Have a Happy, Functional Child

 A licensed Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Living Well Psychiatry at Raeford Road in Fayetteville, NC can work with you so you can decipher if those red flags are true manifestations of a serious psychiatric condition. Once it is confirmed that indeed your child is affected by a condition, your child’s psychiatrist can further work with you in the quest for the most appropriate medication.

A good psychiatrist from Living Well Psychiatry will only prescribe a psychotropic medication if it can help your child achieve functionality and if it is safe for him/her. By strictly adhering to the prescription and with proper monitoring, your child gets the chance to live a happy, productive life.

Man sitting in front of wall

How would my psychiatrist decide which antidepressant to prescribe?

 Finding the right medication for your depression can be described as a “trial and error” process. To be able to decide which will suit you best, your psychiatrist will have to consider your signs and symptoms, your medical history and your lifestyle among others. Since the responses can be unique or variable between individuals, he/she will decide based on the available information at hand. There is no one hundred percent guarantee that the first choice will generate the desirable results right away. Your psychiatrist’s proficiency and your cooperation matter a lot in a successful quest for your medication.

 

The Quest for the Right Antidepressant

There are about 20 antidepressants available in the market currently approved for the treatment of depression. Each of these works in a slightly different way and may also cause some side effects. As you prescriber tries you on one of these, considering certain factors such as:

  • The symptoms you reported/narrated
  • The side effects that are based on existing studies and the prescriber’s experience
  • How a relative/family responded to it
  • Possible interaction with medications you are currently using
  • You state of health and/or lifestyle – pregnancy, breastfeeding, elderly, child, etc.
  • Other factors you would appreciate being factored in, such as health insurance coverage and cost

 

The Goal of Prescription

 Your psychiatrist will try one that he/she thinks will best meet your needs and monitor how you’ll respond to it during your scheduled consultations . What your prescriber will be looking for is an antidepressant that will treat the symptoms with fewer, tolerable side effects. At best, this can be achieved on the first medication, which is why you have to be completely honest with your psychiatrist.

If the goal is not attained on the first try, your prescriber may consider other options, such as shifting you to another antidepressant, change the dose or the time of taking it, or combine it with another medication. Going through the “trial and error” process is important in your and your psychiatrist’s quest for the right antidepressant for you. It will be in your best interest not to stop taking the medication  without discussing the matter with him/her.

 

Going Through the Process with a Good Psychiatrist

 Attaining the goal of prescription is as much your psychiatrist’s responsibility as it is yours . Being honest with your doctor is important as the information you will share partly forms the basis for the prescription. Meanwhile, having an experienced, skilled and updated psychiatrist can help by knowing the best options available in the treatment of your depression.

You want the “trial and error” to be as brief as possible, so take time in choosing your psychiatrist. He/She is a key factor in your successful quest for the right medication. If you are looking for a good psychiatrist, visit or call Living Well Psychiatry at Raeford Road, Fayetteville, NC.

Living Well Psychiatry is closer than you think!  It is in a central location – near the new VA Hospital on Raeford road.  It is close to Hope Mills, NC and Raeford NC. Living Well Psychiatry serves both Cumberland County, NC and Hoke County, NC.  It can also be easily accessed from Moore County, NC, and includes Southern Pines, Aberdeen and Pinehurst.