What to Know About Mental Health Doctors

Mental Health Doctors

Many patients who deal with mental health concerns take the necessary step of contacting a mental health professional. For patients who attend therapy, they know their therapist cannot prescribe mental health medication. This can be a real concern if the patient would like a prescription for medication. So, many people turn to mental health doctors for help.

What are Mental Health Doctors?

A mental health doctor is a medical doctor who went through years of training in medical school. To achieve the title “doctor,” you must go through many years of college, at least three years of residency, and additional school for specialties. With that being said, there is no official title for a mental health doctor. But, some doctors, such as a family medicine doctor, can specialize in mental health. This is a medical concern that is a top priority for many doctors, despite their title. So, you can go to several different types of doctors to get this treatment.

Which Doctors are Considered Mental Health Doctors?

The term “mental health doctor” is an umbrella term that includes many different types of doctors.  Although any doctor who focuses on improving their patients’ mental health can call themselves a mental health doctor, this is not their professional title. However, there are some common specialties among mental health doctors. Some of these specialties are psychiatrists, family practitioners, psychopharmacologists, and others. However, keep in mind that no matter the doctor you go to, if they have a doctorate in medicine, they can prescribe you medication.

Which Doctor To See For Treatment

The truth is, you can go to whichever doctor you feel most comfortable with. Many people prefer to discuss their concerns with their long-term family medicine doctors. For patients who enjoy having a long history with their doctor, this can make them feel more comfortable. There are actually some benefits to seeing your family medicine doctor, as they know you and your family history well. With that being said, don’t feel tied down to a specific doctor. You have the choice between seeing a familiar doctor, or a doctor who specializes in mental health treatment.

Another thing to consider is which doctor is most convenient to your location. When dealing with mental health difficulties, it can be overwhelming to travel for a doctor. For many people, the only way to see a specialist is to drive to the closest large city. This can be a problem, especially if you are dealing with depression, anxiety, or just a busy schedule. So, keep this in mind when deciding which doctor to see.

Why Is Medication Necessary?

Did your counselor or therapist recommend getting a prescription for medication? This is a common avenue for people who are struggling with mental health concerns. Although traditional therapy methods are incredibly effective thanks to years of research, sometimes additional help is necessary.  Thankfully, there are hundreds of medications that can alleviate symptoms from mental health disorders. Below, you can read about several medication classifications that are used to improve mental health and functions.

Mental health doctors

SSRIs and Antidepressants

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, your mental health doctor will likely prescribe you an SSRI. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase the amount of serotonin the brain absorbs. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between cells and nerves. A low amount of serotonin can cause a low or anxious mood. The additional serotonin can help decrease feelings of depression or anxiety.

Both depression and anxiety can be incredibly difficult to overcome and are sometimes considered chronic. So, medication can be incredibly helpful to assist in coping. But, SSRIs do require a prescription, which means you need to see mental health doctors to get them.

Antipsychotics

Those with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other symptoms of psychosis, usually get a prescription for antipsychotics. These drugs help keep brain activity at a normal level so the patient does not experience symptoms. Although antipsychotics do not cure these mental disorders, they do alleviate symptoms. This can help the patient realize what is real, rather than a hallucination.

Stimulants

People get a prescription for stimulants when they receive a diagnosis of ADHD, ADD, Aspergers, and even excessive sleepiness. These drugs stimulate the brain to improve cognitive ability and focus. There are many regulations on stimulants, so you must get a prescription from a doctor for them.

Looking For Mental Health Doctors in Pensacola?

Even if you don’t have any of the conditions above, a mental health doctor can still help you. If you are in the Pensacola, Florida area, please consider visiting our clinic. Our staff of medical doctors specializes in mental health treatment. We can sit down and talk about your thoughts, feeling, and behaviors. Then, we will discuss medication options with you. Feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Common Addiction Recovery Treatment Services

Addiction Recovery

Recovering from addiction can be incredibly challenging. Addiction is a disease, which means it requires a cure to recover completely. With that being said, someone who struggles with addiction must go about the long process of recovery. When someone deals with addiction, they are physically dependent on a substance. So, when it comes to dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, it can be incredibly challenging to overcome the dependence on the substance. Thankfully, there are many addiction recovery treatment services for patients.

Addiction Recovery Treatment Services

Unfortunately, about 19.7 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction to substances. However, this means there has been plenty of time for research. With this research, experts have found effective ways to overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol. So, patients have an effective course of action when they are ready to seek treatment. Below, you will find some of the most common addiction recovery treatment services available.

Behavioral Health Counseling

Behavioral health counseling is an effective option for those dealing with addiction. This form of counseling focuses on the behaviors of the patient. How do they react to stressful situations? How do their behaviors affect their relationships? Are their behaviors self-destructive? These questions are the primary focus of a behavioral health session.

In a session, the patient and their counselor will discuss the triggers they experience before they relapse. They will also discuss effective and healthy coping mechanisms that do not include drug use. The goal of this is for the patient to learn new habits and behaviors so they don’t turn to drug use. Stressful situations are unavoidable. However, how you react to stressful situations is entirely up to you. When a patient learns to cope healthily, they are less likely to relapse.

Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

Another popular recovery treatment is medication-assisted treatment. When recovering from drugs such as pain killers, meth, and even alcohol, the body can suffer from many symptoms. The symptoms of withdrawal include body aches, high blood pressure, severe migraines, insomnia, and others. Clearly, these symptoms are very severe and can encourage further drug use. This is why medication-assisted treatment was developed.

When a patient undergoes medication-assisted treatment, they get a prescription for medication. This medication alleviates the symptoms of drug withdrawal, all without the patient becoming addicted to a new medication. Under the supervision of a doctor, the patient will only take enough medication to alleviate their withdrawal symptoms. Once their symptoms subside, the patient will be off the medication completely. This treatment option makes it much easier to recover from drug addiction.

Addiction Recovery Groups

Addiction Recovery Treatment Services Another great option for addiction recovery treatment is attending a recovery group. There are thousands of recovery groups in the United States in which people discuss their addiction. Typically, these meetings are run by a licensed counselor or doctor. Here, patients discuss their feelings, urges, and struggles. The people in the group likely feel the same way as you, so opening up should be very easy.
Attending a recovery group can be highly effective, as you have a group of people supporting you. It can also make you feel accountable for your actions, and can prevent you from relapsing. Perhaps one of the most important factors with addiction recovery is having a support system. But, not everyone has a support system, especially if all of their friends are addicted to substances as well. So, an addiction recovery group can be a great place to get support.

Stay at a Rehabilitation Center

When most people think of drug recovery, they typically think of a rehabilitation center. These centers, commonly known as rehab, are where patients go to receive multiple forms of treatment. Some rehabilitation centers will require patients to stay for a few weeks to a few months. This is to ensure the patient is fully recovered. However, there are some centers that on require patients to come for a few hours per day. The best approach depends on the severity of your addiction.

When you stay at a rehabilitation center, you will likely go through behavioral health counseling, attend addiction recovery groups, and may even partake in medication-assisted treatment services. These centers are fantastic for severe drug addiction issues. However, they do require you put your life on hold. This means you won’t be able to attend work, watch your children, or take care of your pets. However, if you can work around these obstacles, attending a rehabilitation center can be a great option.

Addiction Recovery Treatment Services in Pensacola

If you are ready to take control of your life and recover from addiction, consider seeking one of the treatment services above. At our clinic, we offer many addiction treatment services and are ready to help you. If you are in the Pensacola area, contact us today. We are excited to help you with your recovery.