How to know you need a mental health professional and not be ashamed of it

How to know you need a mental health professional and not be ashamed of it Many people are afraid to see a mental health professional becaus...

mental health professionalHow to know you need a mental health professional and not be ashamed of it

Many people are afraid to see a mental health professional because others might find out about it. People are worried that they will be registered, reported to work, and so on.

In society, there is still rather serious stigmatization of both the specialists themselves and the patients. Good clinics often do not put a Psychiatrist sign on the door, because a person may be embarrassed to sit in front of that door.

At the session of the course doctor-psychotherapist, Dmitry Ferapontov told the difference between a psychologist, a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist, explained how to understand that it is worth asking for help and choosing a specialist for your situation, and also to recognize unethical and unprofessional behaviour. We are sharing with you a fragment of the session.

How to know when you need a mental health professional

If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, it may indicate the need to seek professional help:

  • Poor emotional well-being: anxiety, apathy, negative emotions.

A source

  • Conflicts with others: family quarrels, misunderstandings, criminal episodes, the cause of which a person does not fully understand and does not know how to behave.

  • Hazardous behaviour: extreme sports, substance abuse, self-destructive lifestyles (smoking or eating junk food), driving fast. In some countries, psychotherapy is prescribed for drivers with several serious speed disorders, where they explain that this is a suicidal behaviour and try to cure it.

  • Recommendations of a general practitioner or another specialist doctor: sleep disorders, autonomic disorders, psychosomatic diseases (for example, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, stomach ulcers, gastritis, neurodermatitis, bronchial asthma), the consequences of stress (stressful effects destroy our body for more than 6 months), chronic and incurable diseases.

How to choose a specialist for your situation?

Naturally, this is not a complete list, it is presented for general understanding.

  • With acute mental disorders (disorientation, hallucinations, formulated delirium) - a person is automatically sent to a psychiatrist.

  • Both a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist deal with distress or chronic stress. But distress is a serious condition in which a person's hormonal system reacts both physically and somatically, and medical help is needed here.

  • Psychosomatic diseases are dealt with by a psychotherapist and an internist (specialist in internal medicine) with psychological skills.

  • Eating Disorder (Eating Disorder) - in psychiatry, it is considered a serious pathology and gives the highest percentage of suicides. To work with RPP, you need a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. In some cases or at a certain stage of the disease, psychologists specializing in ECD can also help.

  • Andrologists (they deal with the physical part of sexual behaviour) and sexologists work with sexual behaviour disorders. Sexology is a psychiatric specialty, that is, at first a doctor receives a psychiatric diploma, and then specializes in sexology or drug addiction.

  • Depressive disorder is dealt with by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist because often the patient requires antidepressants.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of depression is also showing fairly good results. But, just like with anxiety disorders, doctors are needed here. Plus, for patients with depressive disorder, we should always check for the possibility of committing suicide.

Signs of unethical and unprofessional behaviour

After you decide what kind of specialist you need, or contact a psychiatrist to rule out diseases, and after you start working with a psychologist, it is important to understand what kind of professional is in front of you and whether you can trust him.

A source

In the ethical code of a psychologist there are very correct words: "respect", "self-determination of the client", "competence", "responsibility", "honesty". These are the parameters that a person should see and feel, or at least not find the opposite in the behaviour of his therapist.

  • Incompetence. Here we mean a situation where the specialists are not trained to work with clients or patients. Any doctor is taught “Ethics and deontology of the medical profession” for at least a year and a half, where they tell what can and cannot be done. And, for example, psychologists in humanitarian faculties rarely study this subject. As well as gestalt therapists, art therapists, consultants and "constellators". Plus, a non-professional does not always know that he is not a professional. Often the opposite is true, and this is even more dangerous.

  • Violation of boundaries: companionship outside the session, unauthorized touching, sex, many examples and stories from the personal life of the "psychologist", violation of confidentiality, double relationships (when the specialist asks the patient to help him with something. For example, please, "fix my car . Cheaper ").

  • "Versatility" in the approach to the patient. This is when a specialist has a certain universal key or an answer to all questions. The approach that reads “I know this is a typical case, here is a universal remedy” is fundamentally wrong. Also, the authoritarian manner of communication and schemes about the "superman" should be alarmed.

  • The projection of the therapist's own problems onto the patient. This is usually the result of a lack of supervision and insufficient attention to oneself. The therapist must be in a state of equilibrium and well-being enough to work with people.

  • "Neurobulshit", when everything is explained by science ("This is norepinephrine, and, there is a limbic system, it acts on the neocortex"), "moralizing", "psychosomatics".

  • "Stars of Popular Psychology". There is a person who makes money in the auditorium, and there is a person who earns in the quiet of his office through consultations. Sometimes they overlap, but in general, they are two different types of specialists.

A source

Public sessions are amazing, firstly, from the point of view of a complete violation of confidentiality and trust, and secondly, versatility ("I don't know you, I saw you for three minutes, but here's some advice. Give me the next note").

What to count on as a result of therapy

Achievable results

  • Learn to accept and understand yourself.

  • Experience symptom relief.

Misconceptions and features

  • You can't wait for magic and passive healing.

  • The patient is not an object of influence.

  • You need to be prepared for a period of uncertainty and ambiguity of change.

There is no shame in therapy. It allows you to solve deep problems and improve your quality of life. The main thing is to find a specialist whom you will trust and with whom you will be comfortable working. 

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