Even though mental health is slowly becoming less of a taboo subject around us, there are a lot of people who want help but don't know how to obtain it. If you're feeling the same way, this article might help you.
PSYCHIATRIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST?
A big issue I've noticed is that people can't tell the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. A psychiatrist has a medical degree while a psychologist doesn't, which basically means a psychiatrist can prescribe you medicine while a psychologist can't. Psychiatrists mainly deal with mental disorders and try to figure out if you have a chemical imbalance which could be treated using medicine. A psychologist, on the other hand, is more interested in your mental state, your thoughts, and your general mental well-being.
WHO SHOULD I GO TO?
Everyone has unique issues and so it is up to you to figure out what works for you. In my opinion, going to a psychologist first helps to pin-point what exactly is wrong. Psychologists provide therapy sessions where you can talk freely about your life and problems. All that is shared between you and your psychologist is confidential and so you can be free to share anything. The more you share, the more you help your psychologist figure out a solution to your problem.
If mental therapy is not enough, your psychologist will refer you to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe the necessary medicine. Psychologists and psychiatrists usually work together when dealing with a patient. Some psychiatrists might not give you as much time as a psychologist would, because of how their professions are. Therefore, I highly recommend seeking help from a psychologist first.
WHERE DO I FIND A PSYCHIATRIST/PSYCHOLOGIST?
Most big-name hospitals in Bangladesh have psychiatrists and psychologists working there but a lot of them also have offices outside of hospitals. If you have no prior knowledge about any of this, it is best to go to a hospital you trust. You could also ask trusted friends and relatives about who they recommend. Remember that not every therapist works for everyone, so you must go and see for yourself if you are comfortable with whoever you choose.
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that renowned psychiatrists and psychologists are usually booked for at least a month in advance at any given time so do not expect an immediate appointment. Patience is key when it comes to mental health treatment and waiting for a good doctor is just part of the journey.
A vast majority of hospitals have websites which provide phone numbers which you can call to either directly make an appointment or ask for information on how to make one. If you're interested in a psychologist who has a separate chamber, you need to visit the place to make an appointment.
DO THEY GUARANTEE A SOLUTION?
Psychiatrists and psychologists are there to guide you but, in the end, it's up to you to make the real effort. They will hand you the Lego, but you're the one who has to assemble the fort.
Mayabee Arannya is a confused soul still searching for a purpose. Give her advice on life at facebook.com/mayabee.arannya