Mental illness has such a stigma around it. There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to mental illnesses, including things like all people who are mentally ill are violent or that medication is the only way to treat a mental illness, or even that a person shouldn't take the appropriate medication to treat their illness. All those misconceptions and that stigma can make it hard for people to talk to the mental health professional that can help them get the help that they need. There are a wide variety of mental health professionals that can help with treatment for a person with a mental illness and can even help support the families and friends of those people. So, what are some kinds of mental health professionals?
A psychologist is a doctor that has gone through many years of training. However, instead of being a medical doctor, they generally hold a Ph.D. in psychology. That means that they can't prescribe medication. What they can do is help a person with mental illness by counseling them on a regular basis as well as helping their patient learn new coping skills and helping the patient figure out what may be causing some of their behaviors. For example, the patient may have something like bipolar disorder. The chemical imbalance in their brains can cause a lot of symptoms. However, that patient may also have developed a lot of behaviors to deal with their symptoms that can cause other problems. That can include things like drug addictions. A psychologist may work in concert with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse.
A psychiatrist is also a doctor who has gone through years of training and has psychiatric degrees. However, they have gone through med school and instead of having a Ph.D., they hold a medical degree. That means that the psychiatrist can prescribe medication for their patients. Some psychiatrists only do med management while working with a psychologist, therapist, or counselor who does more in-depth treatment, while there are other psychiatrists who are more full service and do the counseling as well as med management.
A psychiatric nurse chose to go through a specialized psychiatric program. They can prescribe medications and generally spend time with their patients so that they can develop some kind of relationship and can help with counseling. Psychiatric nurses are supervised by a medical doctor who may periodically review their patient records to make sure that the patient is handling medication well and is dealing with their mental health issues well.
While the stigma and misconceptions about mental illness can make it hard for people to get the treatment they need, there are many types of mental health professionals who are willing and able to help treat those people and help them deal with their mental illness. Contact a clinic, like Commonwealth Affiliates PC, for more help.