Psychiatrist or Psychologist: for several different problems. - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Psychiatrist or Psychologist: for several different problems.


I am finally pushing myself to get help after several years, but I can't decide on who is the best person to go to for my problems, a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Any insight would be helpful.

A little background on me and my problems:

Social Anxiety - I know for a fact that I have social anxiety. My history of awful interactions and anxiety episodes can attest to that.

Depression - I have been depressed for some time but haven't been able to do anything about it. But in recent years I have been confused on whether it's just depression or not (reference to the next one).

Bipolar Disorder - This kind of ties in with the depression. I definitely do have chronic depression, but I also have episodes where my anger just explodes and my fuse is short (particularly when it comes to specific people. I don't know if that's normal or not). So I want to check to see if Bipolar Disorder is a potential diagnosis.

ADHD/ADD - I've had attention problems for as long as I can remember. School was a nightmare for me because I could never focus, listen, and process the lectures in my classes. Even to this day, I can never finish a project I start (writing, reading, etc) without being distracted to another activity or project. Therefore it could take me months just to finish something. But ironically, when something does catch my interest, I get tunnel visioned and can only focus on that, but again until something else that interests me catches my attention. And I recently learned that one of the symptoms to ADHD/ADD is ironically something called "hyperfocus" alongside the attention deficit.

Panic Disorder/Generalized Anxiety - While I know I have social anxiety, I want to be check if panic disorder or generalized anxiety are potentials as well. The reason I think this is because I have anxiety episodes when I am alone sometimes and other times when I'm just sitting, I can suddenly be hit with an episode.

Vertigo - Technically I don't know if a psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose for this, but I figure why not add to the checklist just to be sure. The reason I think vertigo may be a possibility because of my episodes when I am overwhelmed. But want to see if my episodes are vertigo related or anxiety episode related.

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This may seem like a lot to look for, but these are issues I've been dealing with for years. As a matter of fact, my entire life.

The reason I'm only seeking treatment until now is because of how I was raised. Mental health and behavioral issues are virtually nonexistent in the Asian culture I come from. There is no real support system available. There aren't any real talks about them as well. All they can match your problems to is just being overly stressed or an over exaggeration of the your stress symptoms. So their solution is telling you to ignore your problems, act like the problem isn't there, and then the problems will eventually go away. Or if there is a solution possible, they suggest an old school one time herbal remedy that will supposedly cure your problems instantly. And any time I confronted my parents about getting help, they would either tell me exactly this or just plain freak out and then pretend like nothing is wrong.

So for years, I did just that, ignore it. Until now.

I know my problems are not simple issues that can be ignored or taking a special tea can fix, but I haven't had much choice until now. My parents refused to give up the insurance card for doctor related visits unless I had a fever or something. But I recently called our insurance company and asked them to send another card for me, which they did thankfully.

My problems have become so exasperated that I can't live life normally, or at all. And on top of that, my parents are breathing down my back everyday about going out and getting a job. They think it's so simple, ignoring my problems and getting a job. But that's not true at all. The idea of a job right now terrifies me because I can't even talk to people properly, let alone an interview than interacting with other people.

So please, I need your help in trying to find the right person to look for to help me find solutions for my problems. I've done my research and I am still torn between whether a psychologist or psychiatrist is better suited for my problems.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 05:34 PM
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If you need a diagnosis or you are looking for medication then you should see a psychiatrist. Other than medication they don't really have any other way to help you. If you want therapy or someone to "talk to" see a psychologist.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 05:38 PM
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dont use pills its useless and makes you more insane
go to a psychologist for evaluation if you want
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 05:42 PM
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i dont know too much about this but a psychatrist is only there to help the chemical side of it. So he is only going to give you medication basically. A psychologist I THINK can do both
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 06:17 PM
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Hmm.......I would see a psychiatrist first and see what they recommend.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 06:24 PM
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Hmm.......I would see a psychiatrist first and see what they recommend.
They would recommend Sertraline and Ritalin most likely
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Some are saying to go to the psychiatrist for meds, while other say psychologist for talk. That is where I am getting stuck in all of this.

When it comes to the talking to a psychologist, I honestly don't know if I want to talk about my problems if that makes any sense at all. My social anxiety makes it damn near impossible to open up to people, let alone a stranger. So to have to talk to someone about my problems in the open is terrifying. But I know at least some talking is required in order to get the right help. That's the tricky thing with getting help with social anxiety I find.

And when it comes to meds, I know that meds can help, and I am open to taking what is needed. But with that being said, I don't want to have to be required to take so many different pills that it becomes overwhelming.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siennak View Post
Some are saying to go to the psychiatrist for meds, while other say psychologist for talk. That is where I am getting stuck in all of this.

When it comes to the talking to a psychologist, I honestly don't know if I want to talk about my problems if that makes any sense at all. My social anxiety makes it damn near impossible to open up to people, let alone a stranger. So to have to talk to someone about my problems in the open is terrifying. But I know at least some talking is required in order to get the right help. That's the tricky thing with getting help with social anxiety I find.

And when it comes to meds, I know that meds can help, and I am open to taking what is needed. But with that being said, I don't want to have to be required to take so many different pills that it becomes overwhelming.
You can see a psychiatrist and a counselor at the same time. Get your meds from the psychiatrist and then do some therapy/talking with a counselor. Seeing a psychiatrist should be step one though.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2016, 11:32 PM
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I see both, my psychiatrist just modifies my dosage and motivates me while my psychologist clears my deeper issues. -_-

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 12:06 PM
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You do have a complicated diagnosis but a good psychiatrist can successfully treat you. They can refer you to other doctors for conditions they do not treat - like vertigo. I had vertigo and saw a hearing/balance specialist whose advice I followed and have successfully recovered. If you have bipolar than meds are probably a must. I was diagnosed as bipolar type 2 about 20 years ago after struggling with major depression for 15 years. Getting on a mood stabilizer has been crucial to me and I take no other psych drugs now because I found they caused as many symptoms as they fixed. What is important is what works for you. Finding a doctor you can trust is not a simple process but is also probably essential to your progress. Don't be afraid to quit a therapist after a few appointments. The way I found my first therapist was referral by my GP. I have been in therapy for some "35 f*****g years and have had 3 fruitful long-term therapists and numerous others that I 'test drove' and decided weren't a good fit. Currently I have 2 psych drs, one is a C NP whom I see for meds monitoring and one is a LCSW and I love them both. I am a Type 1 diabetic, bipolar type 2, PTSD from a traumatic childhood and some other medical conditions not related to psych. Bottom line, my advice is to seek referrals from other doctors and listen to your body - you can learn to be your best patient advocate. Just remember that you are worth the effort. Hang in there.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give an update for those interested.

I am now seeing a therapist for talk therapy.
It was so damn difficult at first, I had a hard time opening up. But luckily, my therapist is really kind and understanding, so I feel more comfortable with her now. But I do still have a ways to go. I will admit, after the first three sessions, I was getting frustrated. While I know there is no instant treatment to my problems, there is always that little voice in my head that wishes that could be possible. So after the first couple of sessions, I was getting impatient, wanting to see instant results. But luckily, I stuck it out. It's been about four months now since I first started. While my problems haven't resolved, it has helped me gained understanding in myself in just how deep my problems go. This therapy is more about talking, hence the name talk therapy, so I just talk about my problems, while my therapist asks questions.

We're now are currently looking into psychiatrist options for me.
Having done talk therapy for a few months, my therapist sees that a psychiatrist will definitely do me some good because my problems can't be resolved solely from talk therapy.

And we're also looking into formal testing for ADHD/ADD for me.

Looking back, not much has been accomplished in terms of my problems, but I now wouldn't change it. Even though it's just talk therapy, I still feel like at least something is being done for my problems, without any judgement, which gives me some peace of mind.

That being said, the journey has not been a smooth one. One issue I have continuously run into is the cost. HMO plans suck. At least mine does. They don't cover my needs. At least the doctors that I need. The only therapists and psychiatrists they cover are forty miles away from me. And I could not get any website, response, or at least some positive reviews on these docs. So I had to go out of network and find people who I had to pay out of pocket.

While it is more expensive, it's so worth it. In my search for help, I wanted someone who was board certified, so I have a better chance of better service. While my therapist isn't board certified, the practice she is a part of has a psychiatrist all of their therapists refer to, who is board certified. And everyone I have talked to from that office has been really kind and attentive.

My other issue is my parents. My parents haven't made things any better for me. My relationship with them is still strained, and honestly, even with therapy, I don't see my relationship with them ever improving. They don't know I see a therapist, as they find therapy completely pointless because of the Asian mindsets they hold on anxiety and such. And because I don't have a job, I have to get the money to pay for my therapy from them. They hassle me all the time about my appointments, but luckily because I tell them that I need the doctor related visits, they give me the money for them.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 12:10 PM
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You mean psychotherapist.
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