A therapist has an education specifically rooted in therapeutic practice, approaches, techniques, and treatment. They cannot prescribe medications for clients, thought they often refer clients to psychiatrists for medication management. Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialize in mental health treatment, mainly through medication management and prescription, though they can also practice therapy.
The American writer Henry David Thoreau once stated, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” If humans didn’t get off track sometimes, we’d never be forced to problem-solve. If we didn’t problem-solve, we wouldn’t achieve the wisdom that comes from that task.
But what does this have to do with psychiatry? Mental health conditions aren’t mistakes. They’re not something that people can control. But they do push us off course from time to time. Overcoming a mental health condition that interferes with daily life can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves: our vulnerabilities, our strengths, our ability to ask for help.
The licensed psychiatrists at Thriveworks in Berkeley, CA can support people who feel that they’ve temporarily lost their way and need a little guidance. Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental health conditions that can interfere with daily functioning. But the psychiatrists at Thriveworks don’t treat the condition; they treat the person. This means that each Thriveworks client gets compassionate, expert, holistic care.
How Do Psychiatrists Diagnose Mental Health Conditions?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who studied psychology and physiology in medical school. Therefore they have extensive knowledge of how underlying neurochemical conditions and other factors can affect one’s mental outlook and behaviors. But in order to diagnose a condition accurately, the top-rated psychiatrists at Thriveworks in Berkeley, CA need to first perform a full evaluation of the client. This evaluation may include the following elements:
- Comprehensive discussion of cognitive and behavioral symptoms
- Psychological tests
- Physical tests
- Lifestyle questions (i.e., do you abuse drugs or alcohol? Do you exercise regularly?)
- Medical history
- Family medical history (because some mental health conditions like bipolar disorder have genetic components)
- Consultation with the individual’s other doctors and caregivers
- Mood charting
- Psychosocial evaluation (What are your relationships like? Do you have a support system?)
How Do Psychiatrists Treat Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, and Thriveworks psychiatrists in Berkeley, CA have extensive experience in treating it. They use a variety of tools and resources to help people manage their anxiety symptoms, including the following:
- Psychiatric medications and ongoing medication management
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which addresses maladaptive thinking patterns and belief systems
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Substance abuse or addiction treatment
- Other evidence-based cognitive and behavioral therapies
- Lifestyle changes (increasing exercise, reducing caffeine intake, etc.)
- Holistic treatments like meditation and deep breathing
- Mindfulness therapy
- Group therapy or couples counseling from a Thriveworks licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
What Qualifies As a Mental Health Condition?
Not every mental health condition is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) that psychiatrists use as a tool for diagnosis. But that doesn’t mean these conditions can’t be treated. The licensed psychiatrists at Thriveworks in Berkeley, CA have experience treating the following issues, and many more:
- Major depression
- Mild depressive disorder
- Dysthymia (depression lasting longer than two years)
- Postpartum depression
- Anxiety disorders
- Ecological anxiety and ecological grief
- Panic disorder and panic attacks
- Type I bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- Type II bipolar disorder (which involves hypomania)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Childhood psychiatric issues
- Specific phobias
- Self-harming behaviors
- Violent behaviors
- Libido concerns
- Psychotropic medication adverse side effects
- Anger and rage
- Sex or gambling addiction
- Substance abuse
- Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Personality disorders
- Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia
- Sleep disorders like insomnia
Psychiatrist Vs. Psychologist
If you’ve never seen a mental health provider before, you may be confused about all the different titles and specialties in the psychology field. One important distinction is that between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Psychologists usually have masters or doctorate degrees (PsyDs or PhDs) in psychology. They can be clinical or counseling psychologists and can conduct a variety of talk therapies. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, have medical (MD) degrees and can prescribe medications in addition to conducting psychotherapy.
Book an Online Appointment with a Psychiatrist at Thriveworks in Berkeley, CA
When you reach out to the Thriveworks office in Berkeley, CA, our highly trained team can match you to a psychiatrist quickly. Most clients can meet with their provider within 24-48 hours of their initial call or online appointment booking. Thriveworks psychiatrists can meet clients online at their convenience. They can also be reached by phone or email between sessions.
Thriveworks psychiatrists are fully licensed and accept most major health insurance plans. For people who don’t have health insurance coverage, Thriveworks offers affordable self-pay rates. And clients don’t have to wait. Over 97% of Thriveworks appointments begin on-time or early.
Book your psychiatry session at Thriveworks in Berkeley, CA today to find out what makes our providers so exceptional. We can’t wait to help deliver the premium mental health services you deserve.