The cost of a psychiatrist depends on your location, the type of treatment you need, and whether your visit is covered by insurance or not.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, behavioral disorders, and emotional disorders. Psychiatrists can order a wide range of medical and psychological tests to help diagnose your physical and mental state and determine the best treatment approach.
During an initial consultation, you and the psychiatrist will discuss your mental and physical symptoms and family health history. The psychiatrist may prescribe additional tests, medication, therapy, or other treatments. Most treatments and medication plans require periodic follow-up visits.
Yes, a psychiatrist is a licensed medical doctor and can prescribe medication. Your psychiatrist will determine if medication is needed and will develop a treatment plan that includes ongoing medication management.
They may also recommend other forms of therapy as an alternative or to complement the medication. Popular supplementary therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). However, your psychiatrist will likely refer you to a psychologist or therapist for these treatments.
Consider seeing a psychiatrist if you're suffering from a mental health condition that negatively impacts your life, such as feeling sad all the time, having difficulty concentrating, having trouble sleeping, or experiencing panic attacks. Common conditions treated by psychiatrists include:
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is authorized to prescribe medication. While psychiatrists will diagnose your mental health condition and determine the proper treatment plan, they typically do not offer talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and will refer you to a psychologist for those services.
A psychologist is not a medical doctor but is trained in helping clients with mental health conditions. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication—except in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and New Mexico—but can diagnose issues like anxiety, depression, or phobias and provide talk therapy, CBT, or other treatments.
Most doctors recommend seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist to address your condition from both angles.
Most HMO insurance plans require you to get a referral from your doctor to see a psychiatrist. PPO insurance plans typically allow you to see a psychiatrist without first getting a referral.
If you're not using health insurance to pay for the visit, no referral is necessary.
When choosing a psychiatrist, it's important to find one who makes you feel comfortable and respected. Follow these tips to find the best psychiatrist for you:
Ask the psychiatrist these questions before establishing yourself as a patient:
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