Have you ever wondered what the typical psychiatrist salary is or what kind of degree is required? If you're interested in learning a little more about this important profession, continue reading for some helpful information.
What Does a Psychiatrist Do?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a specialty in psychiatric care. This type of practice focuses on the treatment of mental, behavioral and emotional disorders. A psychiatrist can perform any and all functions of a medical doctor from drawing blood, ordering tests and prescribing medication. Typically, a psychiatrist uses the knowledge of the body systems to help prescribe and treat mental disorders. A psychiatrist frequently treats disorders such as:
Depression is the most commonly treated psychological disorder in the United States. Once upon a time, there was a social stigma attached to anyone who was diagnosed as having depression. These days, with the rise in awareness of the disorder and the development in medication and treatment, people are successfully able to rise above it and improve their lives. There are two major types of depression:
Situational depression comes on when an event or string of events occurs that makes you feel down. It is frequently set off by the death of a loved one or friend. Most people often describe the feeling as being "down in the dumps," and they may feel like there is a black cloud over their head. Some people with situational depression self-medicate; that is, they don't seek the help of a psychiatrist or other clinician. Instead, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to attempt to feel better. This form of self-medicating can lead the person down the path of addiction.
There are times when the chemicals in the brain are imbalanced, either due to a hormonal deficiency or some other physiological change. The body’s systems, such as the endocrine system, can contribute to the chemical imbalance.
Someone suffering from clinical depression has a physiological and physical deficiency that causes a change in emotional stability. In fact, it creates emotional instability. Clinical depression can cause physical pain and a general inability to function.
If left untreated for too long, clinical depression can become a matter of life or death: Most people who commit suicide were diagnosed with clinical depression at one time or other. Self-medicating often occurs with clinical depression as well. Situational depression can become clinical as it has been proven that prolonged states of situational depression can actually change the chemical makeup of the brain.
A psychiatrist can successfully treat both categories of depression. The first step in getting better is asking for the help needed.
Katy Perry had a famous song a few years ago that talked about the mood swings that accompany bipolar disorder. Psychiatrists can diagnose and effectively treat this common and challenging mental disorder. Bipolar disorder consists of extreme mood swings; one day, you may feel like you can take on the world.
You might have the sudden energy to clean out your closet, scrub your kitchen cabinets inside and out and paint the game room. You feel accomplished and don't feel the need to sleep. You would rather continue being productive. Sleep is overrated!
The next day and the subsequent days that follow, you may not be able to get out of bed. Depression has sunk its teeth into you, and as a result, you would much rather stay in the dark, in bed, all the days of the week. You sleep 20 hours a day. Your family and friends are worried. Then, just like that, you could wake up feeling euphoric and energetic again. Where was that to-do list you made the last time this happened?
This is a very generalized view of bipolar disorder, and like any other mental or behavioral disorder, it is a very serious condition. A psychiatrist can run a variety of tests, including blood tests that may be able to help cement the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Treatment of the disorder is done the same as that for depression. There are usually other drugs given to help calm down the energetic or manic side of the mood scale. Frequent follow-ups are necessary to ensure the medication is working. If left untreated, bipolar disorder can become dangerous.
Manic episodes may turn frantic, and you may begin to act out physically, including sexually. In the heights of a manic episode, people who suffer from the disorder make poor choices that can have far-reaching consequences.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Do you ever feel anxious or nervous for no apparent reason? Does the thought of leaving the dryer on when you leave the house make you feel scared and sure your house will be burned to the ground by the time you get back?
Thinking in this way and having a feeling of general restlessness and anxiousness, even when doing something you love all point to anxiety issues. Anxiety can be dangerous and cause the person who suffers from it to have physical reactions in the form of a racing heart and elevated body temp.
If this continues too long, it may cause that person to become unable to breathe and eventually pass out. It isn't a heart attack: It's a panic attack. Anxiety is a stress that is extreme, and it always comes from within. A psychiatrist can help formulate a plan of attack to get your anxiety under control and allow you to function again.
An essential facet of psychiatry is the treatment of addiction. As stated above, many people seek help in the form of illicit drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with mental issues. If this is being done on a regular basis, an addiction forms. Addictive behavior is common among those suffering from other mental illnesses or disorders. Breaking the bonds of addictive behavior is difficult. A psychiatrist is trained in being able to help. In fact, some psychiatrists choose to specialize in addictive behavior.
Psychiatrists offer a variety of treatment options for the conditions they treat. The most successful people do a combination of talk and pharmaceutical therapy. A psychiatrist should always include talk therapy in a treatment plan. It can be one-on-one sessions with the psychiatrist or another counselor, such as a psychologist. Some of the most powerful talk therapy occurs in a group setting. While this seems horrifying, it is more successful than you can imagine.
Picture feeling abnormal due to a mental health-related issue. You feel alone, abandoned and apathetic toward treatment. Sure, you take medicine, but no matter how many tests the psychiatrist runs or different medication regimes you are put on, nothing seems to be making it better. Talking to your psychiatrist makes you feel worse because you feel like you come across whining about events in your past and the fear that you won't have a future.
Your doctor won't give up even though you want to. Depending on your condition and the level of crisis you are at, the doctor may suggest you either join a group therapy class or check yourself into a mental health facility. Both options sound terrifying, although the mental health facility sounds slightly less scary than the group. In a hospital, you'll get to take naps and paint, but in a group, you'll have to share with strangers. No thank you.
Your doctor insists that you try group therapy and recognizes you are uneasy about it. On the morning of your first meeting, you sit as far away from the therapist as you possibly can. You are called on briefly to introduce yourself, which you quietly do, and then for the next two hours, you sit silently listening to everyone else go on about their problems. When it's over, you don't feel nearly as bad as you did when you came in, and you definitely don't feel afraid of coming back.
Group therapy is a powerful tool in the psychiatrist's arsenal to beat back mental issues. Being in a setting with individuals who are all afflicted with similar problems listening to their stories can have a very calming effect on the psyche. It tells you that you are not as alone as you once thought. Hearing other people work through the same things you classified as "whining" makes you feel guilty for ever organizing it like that in the first place. You feel empathy towards others. As you go through group therapy, week after week, you may start turning some of that empathy inward.
What Is The Average Psychiatrist Salary?
As of 2015, the average annual salary or a psychiatrist was $277,000. While that is definitely higher than many other professions, there is a lot of in-depth training involved and an even more profound responsibility for treating people who are often at the mercy of their mind.
Psychiatry may sometimes be viewed as a joke, but mental illness is no laughing matter. Through a combination of medical treatment, prescription drug regime and talk therapy, long-term success for those diagnosed with any number of emotional or behavioral problems are possible. Being a psychiatrist demands someone with patience and the will to go beyond the surface to get to the real reason behind these problems.
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