What’s the Benefit of Seeing a Psychiatrist as Opposed to a Psychologist, a Nurse Practitioner or a Social Worker?
Sometimes medical problems masquerade as a psychiatric problem, and you want a medical professional who can help you know the difference. Sometimes low mood can actually be caused by other medications you are taking or other diagnoses that you have. On several occasions in my 20 years of practice I have discovered an underlying illness or imbalance that was causing symptoms which looked like or felt like depression. This is so important because there’s no reason to treat depression when the problem is really something medically treatable such as low testosterone, anemia, thyroid or adrenal problems, or a host of neurologic or endocrine problems that require medical treatment, not mental health treatment.
Some of my most gratifying moments as a Psychiatrist have been when a patient’s symptoms don’t quite make sense, but with persistent workup, and collaboration with other medical specialists, a previously undiagnosed medical problem is revealed. In these moments I am so grateful that I was trained at one of the nation’s top medical schools and benefitted from the very best training this country offers. Because without that, an underlying illness might have gone undiagnosed.