Picking a Good Psychiatrist

I briefly touched on this before but when I had postpartum and post-weaning depression, my then doctor was the wrong one to see. He said I couldn’t take Zoloft while I was breastfeeding (wrong) and had no suggestions when I was suffering post-weaning depression. I decided I would not see a man again. I didn’t mean this to be a sexist choice, just a personal preference. Obviously, this one doctor wasn’t up to date on current practices.

Even before postpartum care, he only saw me for about 15 minutes each time, which made me feel rushed and that he didn’t care. He had put me on a couple of different antidepressants, neither seemed to work, so he just kept me on them stating those were my only options and adding some anxiety and sleeping pills to the mix. So, I thought there were no other pills I could take. Wellbutrin XL and Zoloft were it for me. He didn’t even recommend therapy, which I was doing anyway.

Luckily I found a doctor that specialized in women’s mental health issues. Unfortunately, she’s in Southlake (Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex), so I travel up there once in a while to see her face-to-face and the rest of the time we have phone visits. She even has an email address that patients have access to.  I don’t ever feel rushed and our conversations are as long as I need them to be. I feel that she really listens.

I thought I’d offer some tips when looking for a new doc. So, when considering a psychiatrist, first ask for referrals from other doctors or friends first. It’s also imperative you do research online to view the doctors’ credentials, years of experience, what they specialize in and read reviews other patients have left. And, of course check if the doctors take your insurance. This goes for therapists, too.

And don’t be afraid to just try the doctors out. You don’t have to commit.. When it’s time for your visit, consider how they make you feel – are they listening, do you feel safe, are they rushing you, etc. This is an interview for them – not you. It’s a very personal decision and you have to be your own advocate.

Another important thing that falls on you is to be a good patient. Be honest with the doctor or therapist. If you’ve had trauma in your past, tell them. If you’ve abused certain meds, tell them. They need to know every medication you’ve taken and are taking. If you’re not honest with them, they can’t help you to the best of their ability.

Hope this helps.