What to do When Your Psychiatrist Isn’t Helping: 7 Recommendations

By May 6, 2023 No Comments

Finding yourself with a psychiatrist who isn’t providing the help you deserve for your mental health needs is a frustrating position to be in. Luckily, there are steps you can take to empower yourself and take control of your mental health journey. When faced with a psychiatrist who isn’t helping, it’s important to be proactive and advocate for your needs.

When Your Psychiatrist Isn't Helping

The Role of a Psychiatrist

Mental health treatment is one of the most important ways someone can support their overall well-being. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of mental health disorders. The right psychiatrist will ensure that you receive the validation and support you need as you navigate the path to improving your mental health. A good psychiatrist will actively listen to your concerns, validate your experiences, create a safe space for you to express yourself, and work with you to find an appropriate treatment plan that suits you. This support is vital when it comes to addressing your mental health concerns effectively.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health treatment, so a tailored approach ensures that your individual needs are met. This may include therapy techniques, medication management, lifestyle changes, or referrals to other specialists that could potentially be of help. An experienced psychiatrist will also have the knowledge to accurately diagnose mental health conditions and know the steps to take to provide treatment. They should stay updated with the latest research, different treatment modalities, evidence-based practices, and make sure that you get the best care possible.

However, there can be unfortunate instances when someone finds themselves with a psychiatrist that isn’t effective or in a situation where they’re questioning if their psychiatrist is a good fit. When your psychiatrist isn’t helping, it’s important to take action and address the situation. Expressing your concerns with your psychiatrist, engaging in clear communication to address any potential misunderstandings, and eventually seeking a second opinion from another psychiatrist to gain a fresh perspective on your diagnosis and treatment options are good steps to take when you don’t feel like your current psychiatrist is the right one for you.

Communicating With Your Psychiatrist 

Maintaining an open line of communication with your psychiatrist can foster a positive therapeutic relationship where misunderstandings are avoided. Some strategies to help you communicate effectively include actively listening and paying attention to what your psychiatrist has to say, being honest and open with your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, and seeking clarification if you don’t understand something your psychiatrist said or need further explanation.

It’s also very helpful to offer feedback about your treatment, progress, or any concerns you have in a collaborative manner and to of course keep an overall open line of communication. You should always be able to reach out to your psychiatrist to share updates, ask questions, or address any emerging concerns, if necessary. Keep in mind that effective communication is a two-way process, and if you find that communication difficulties persist, it may be worth considering other mental health professionals who may better suit your needs.

Psychiatrist Isn't Helping

Indications That it May Be Time to Finding a New Psychiatrist

Finding the right psychiatrist is so important when it comes to effective mental health treatment. A strong therapist-client relationship built on trust, understanding, and expertise can greatly impact the outcomes of psychiatric care. There may come a time when you think “my psychiatrist isn’t helping,” but remain unsure if it’s time to consider transitioning to another professional.

If your psychiatrist is dismissive of your concerns, you notice that you’re not making progress or possibly even experiencing worse symptoms, or is outright unprofessional, this may indicate that it’s time to find a new psychiatrist that’s a better fit. Recognizing the signs that it might be time to find a new psychiatrist is essential for receiving the best care. By paying attention to these warning signs, you can take steps towards finding the right mental health professional and discovering improved mental wellness.

It’s important to have an honest discussion with your psychiatrist about any concerns you may have with the care they’re providing. If the signs persist or if your mental health is declining, it might be necessary to seek a second opinion or find a new psychiatrist who can better meet your specific needs.

Signs that Your Psychiatrist Isn’t Helping

Psychiatrists play a crucial role in mental health treatment by conducting assessments, providing therapy, prescribing medications, and monitoring the progress of their patients. Psychiatrists use their expertise to develop personalized treatment plans and work together with their clients to address their mental health needs. If you feel like your psychiatrist isn’t providing adequate support or the treatment isn’t effective, it could be a sign that they aren’t a good fit. Here are seven signs to look out for when your psychiatrist isn’t helping:

They Don’t Actively Listen

If your psychiatrist regularly fails to actively listen to your concerns or interrupts you often, this may be a sign of a lack of empathy and understanding. Effective communication is crucial in therapy, and when you feel unheard it can delay progress. 

Rushed Appointments

If your psychiatrist rushes through your appointments or repeatedly cancels them, this can be an indicator of a lack of commitment to your care. Adequate time and attention are both very necessary when it comes to addressing your concerns effectively.

Lack of Connection

Creating a trusting therapeutic relationship where you’re comfortable is vital for adequate treatment. If you find it difficult to establish a connection with your psychiatrist or feel uncomfortable discussing personal matters, progress may be limited.

Insufficient Treatment Plans 

The right psychiatrist should work together with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan specific to your needs. If your psychiatrist fails to create a comprehensive and personalized plan or seems dismissive about exploring different treatment options, it may be a sign that they’re not a good fit for what you need.

My Psychiatrist Isn't Helping

Ignoring Side Effects or Concerns

If you experience adverse side effects from medications that your psychiatrist has prescribed or have concerns about your treatment, it is crucial that your psychiatrist takes you seriously and addresses the issues promptly. If your concerns are dismissed, it can indicate a lack of consideration to your well-being.

Very Slow Progress or Symptoms That Get Worse

While progress in therapy does take time, you should be able to notice some improvement after receiving ongoing treatment. If you haven’t noticed any improvement or your symptoms have even worsened, it could be a sign that your psychiatrist’s approach is ineffective or not right for you. Regular assessments and adjustments to the treatment plan as needed should occur with the right psychiatrist.

Lack of Boundaries or Ethical Concerns

A psychiatrist should always maintain appropriate and professional boundaries as well as treat you with the utmost respect and dignity. If you feel disrespected, judged, violated, or uncomfortable due to their behavior and feel it’s unethical, your well-being can be severely compromised.

Remember that it’s important to discuss your concerns openly with your psychiatrist. However, if these issues persist or you’re constantly thinking “my psychiatrist isn’t helping,” it might be time to seek a second opinion or find a new psychiatrist who will be a better fit.

Taking Charge of Your Mental Health Journey 

Navigating the challenges that come with a psychiatrist who isn’t providing the necessary help requires some self-advocacy and taking initiative. When your psychiatrist isn’t helping, recognizing the various signs and openly addressing concerns is vital for your taking care of your mental well-being. No matter if it involves opting for a second opinion, exploring alternative treatments, or ultimately finding a new psychiatrist, remember that you have the right to receive the mental health care that is right for you. When you know what to look for in a psychiatrist and what to avoid, you’ll be able to find the care you deserve and ultimately create the foundation for a healthier and more supported future.