What does a psychiatrist do?

Licensed medical doctors who have done training in psychiatry in addition are called psychiatrists. They have training in mental health conditions and thus can diagnose, prescribe, and monitor medications for the same. Some psychiatrists also do additional training such as in substance use disorders, child and adolescent mental health, etc.

How does a psychiatrist help treat a schizophrenia patient?

A psychiatrist can diagnose a patient with the type of schizophrenia and any other co-morbid mental health conditions that the patient has, and accordingly prescribe medications. These medications can relieve psychosis quickly, as well as help prevent relapses long-term.

How many visits of a psychiatrist are required for a schizophrenia patient?

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder which requires lifelong treatment. Moreover, medications need to be taken long-term in order to manage the symptoms and prevent relapses. Even if medications have improved the symptoms and the patient is doing fine for weeks or months, without continuing medications they may relapse anytime. It may take a while to figure out with your psychiatrist what medications suit you the best.

What if the patient is unwilling or unable to take the psychiatrist’s medications?

If certain medications do not suit the patient well, they can always inform their psychiatrist who can modify their medicines accordingly. If the patient has doubts regarding the side effects, it can be brought up to the psychiatrist who could explain the need for medications over any side effects encountered. There are other alternative treatment options that can be considered such as Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), neurofeedback, etc. which can reduce the need for medications.

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