How a Medical Psychiatrist Can Help
What Is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry is a branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing “voices.” Or they may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.
Adult mental health problems range from sudden bouts of uncontrollable anger and debilitating anxiety to the challenges of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. The team at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists has extensive experience in adult psychiatry, offering comprehensive medical and therapeutic care for the full scope of mental health disorders.
The goal of medication management is to positively impact the health outcomes of the patient. Medication management is making sure you get the right medication and the right dosage. We only test for the specific medications used to assist in your mental health. In other words, we check to ensure that your psychiatric medications are working. We’ll often order a blood draw to check your medication levels, in addition to assessing your medication history.
Psychotherapy & Counseling
Many patients decide to participate in psychotherapy or counseling when they need help with depression, anxiety, or anger. However, those three conditions barely scratch the surface of the list of mental health challenges you can overcome with therapy.
Although we do not directly offer counseling or therapy, we can refer you to the right local therapist for you.
We realize that some wounds aren’t visible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help and live a normal life once again. Our team has the expertise that’s needed to provide individualized and effective psychiatric care. Our staff treats adolescents, children, and older adults through multiple offices. We’ve got offices in Santa Ana, Mission Viejo, Orange County, Huntington Beach, and Costa Mesa.
Our team offers a wide range of treatment options and can treat several mental disorders. They also help with alcohol or chemical addictions. The foundation of our practice includes understanding, compassion, and caring as we treat our patients.
The fact is most American face a mental health issue sometime in their life. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or afraid of in utilizing a psychiatrist. Give us a call, we are here to help!
Our Medical Psychiatrists Can Help
ADD / ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric mental disorders affecting children, but it also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excessive movement that is not fitting to the setting), and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur at the moment without thought).
Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions we can experience at some point in our lives. Through treatment, we are able to help you recover the motivation, perspective, and joy that you once had in your life. Psychiatry has many tools to strengthen your mental health.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) indicates that traditional medications aren’t working to treat your depression. If this is the case, we may offer other ways to treat your behavioral health symptoms. This can include psychological tests or transcranial magnetic stimulation, among other treatments.
Millions of Americans are affected by bipolar disorder. As psychiatrists, we know that managing these symptoms without the proper help can be overwhelming. That is why we’re here to help. We may prescribe medication and treatments for both the manic and depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.
The two types of schizoaffective disorder, both of which include some symptoms of schizophrenia, are:
- Bipolar type, which includes episodes of mania and sometimes major depression
- Depressive type, which includes only major depressive episodes
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impair daily functioning. Schizophrenia can be disabling.
People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may improve the long-term outlook for patients.
Psychiatric evaluation: Diagnosing dementia and its type can be challenging. People develop dementia when they have cognitive impairment and lose their ability to perform daily functions, such as taking their medication, paying their bills, and driving safely.
To diagnose the cause of dementia, the doctor must recognize the pattern of the loss of skills and function and determine what a person is still able to do. More recently, biomarkers have become available to make a more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and conduct a physical examination. He or she will likely ask someone close to you about your symptoms as well.
No single test can diagnose dementia, so doctors are likely to run a number of tests that can help pinpoint the problem. Examples of the other tests they may recommend are listed below.
Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
Doctors will evaluate your thinking (cognitive) function. A number of tests measure thinking skills such as memory, orientation, reasoning, judgment, language skills, and attention.
Doctors evaluate your memory, language, visual perception, attention, problem-solving, movement, senses, balance, reflexes, and other areas.
- CT or MRI. These scans can check for evidence of stroke or bleeding or tumor or hydrocephalus.
- PET scans. These can show patterns of brain activity and whether the amyloid protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, has been deposited in the brain.
Simple blood tests can detect physical problems that can affect brain function, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid gland. Sometimes the spinal fluid is examined for infection, inflammation, or markers of some degenerative diseases.
Post-traumatic stress disorder happens after you experience a traumatic event. You may relive the trauma through flashbacks, making you feel helpless, shocked, or fearful. You may feel detached or estranged from others, resulting in anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Our team can help you!
Before we can treat those suffering from substance abuse or addiction, they must get off the drugs or alcohol. We can help you find a rehabilitation center and then work to help you stay addiction-free.
OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) often happens when you have uncontrollable fears and intrusive thoughts that lead to compulsive behavior. You feel you must do things a certain way to avoid problems, so you develop rituals to cope with your anxieties. We can help you overcome this behavioral problem.
Eating disorders can include bulimia or anorexia. Eating disorders generally occur when people feel they can’t control their lives. To try to regain a sense of control, they turn to what they can fix or change: what and how they eat. Eating too little or expelling what you’ve eaten can do serious damage to your body. Let our team help you learn better ways to establish a sense of control over your life.
Why Choose Our Mental Health Professionals?
A mental health professional can help you treat various mental health conditions, such as mood disorders, emotional disorders, and more. Our licensed clinical social workers all went to medical school to practice medicine with a focus on clinical psychology. We can help treat your mental health conditions through talk therapy (with the help of our affiliates), psychological testing, and much more.
Our board-certified California psychiatrists have taken a psychiatry residency after medical school to become top providers. Whether you want to work with family therapists or need more advanced care, we can help you find a treatment plan that meets all your requirements.
With our board-certified practitioners, you receive:
- Assistance with mood disorders and mental disorders
- A full examination
- A wide range of treatment plans
- Same-day appointments
- Assistance in changing your thought patterns
- A holistic focus on your well-being
Treatments We Offer
Medical psychiatrists use many treatments, such as psychosocial interventions, medications, psychotherapy, etc. It all depends on each patient’s needs. Psychotherapy establishes a talking relationship between the patient and therapist. It’s used to treat emotional difficulties as well as other conditions.
Medications require thorough evaluation, but we often use them to treat a specific concern or issue. Medications that we may prescribe include:
- Stimulants to treat ADHD
- Mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorders
- Hypnotics to help you fall and stay asleep
- Anxiolytics to treat anxiety, and sedatives to treat insomnia
- Antipsychotic medications to treat hallucinations, delusions, bipolar, and schizophrenia disorders
- Antidepressants to treat panic disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
What’s Our Training Like?
The American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry requires psychiatrists to complete medical school and take an exam for a state license. Then, they go through four years of residency, working with patients at prestigious healthcare facilities. Once that’s finished, they take a written or oral examination to become board certified and must recertify every 10 years.