Don't Let These Misconceptions Stop You from Seeing a Psychiatrist

If you have been struggling mentally, seeing a psychiatrist can be a great help. Unfortunately, many people never make the phone call and set up an appointment because they hold some misconceptions about these professionals and the work they do. Below, you'll learn the truth hidden by those misconceptions.

Myth: Psychiatrists just prescribe medications to hide your symptoms.

You probably have friends who have gone to the psychiatrist and been prescribed medications. If you're not too fond of the idea of taking meds yourself, this might make you a little apprehensive or uncomfortable. Indeed, psychiatrists can and do prescribe medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds if they feel they are needed. However, they usually do try to manage a condition without meds if possible. if you strongly prefer not to take medications, you can tell a psychiatrist that and they will aim to help you recover via other therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and talk therapy.

You should understand, though, that when medications are prescribed for mental health disorders, it is because they can be very helpful. Taking these medications is not shameful, and it does not mean you'll need to take them forever.

Myth: Seeing a psychiatrist means you are crazy.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding psychiatric treatment, but thankfully, this seems to be fading as the importance of mental health becomes more widely understood. The best way to put it is this: seeing a psychiatrist does not mean you are crazy—it just means that you rightfully value your mental health and are willing to admit you could use a little help in that department right now. That's honorable and responsible.

Myth: Once you start seeing a psychiatrist, they will make you keep coming.

There's a common rumor that if you start seeing a psychiatrist, they won't let you stop coming to see them, and so you'll end up seeing them for the rest of your life. Maybe this myth dates back to the days when patients would, unfortunately, be held in mental institutions against their will. In any event, it's not true. You can stop seeing the psychiatrist any time you want. If you don't get along with a certain psychiatrist, you can see a different one instead. Many patients realize how valuable psychiatry is once they start seeing a psychiatrist, and so they keep going — but nobody will make you do this.

Hopefully you now better understand the reality of seeing a psychiatrist. It can be very beneficial, not shameful at all, and a flexible solution for many mental health ailments.